Last year, the Seminoles beat the Hatters by two points on a game that ended by Ryan Reid taking a charge as time expired. Tonight, the Seminoles put on an impressive showing, holding the Hatters to only 10 points in the first half. The score differential could have been larger if the Seminoles didn't have some lapses in concentration and try some unnecessary highlight tape plays late in the game.
The Hatters struggled, shooting only 27.5% for the game. In the first half they shot less than 20%. The Hatters put 28 points on the board in the second half as they started to hit 3-pointers. The Seminoles played outstanding defense during this game. The recorded 10 blocks and caused havoc on the Hatters shooters as they entered the paint. The Seminoles created 11 recorded steals. Despite the effort on the defensive end, the Hatters only went to the free throw line nine times. The Seminoles also recorded 48 rebounds, 18 offensive rebounds. With an Oreb% of a 58%.
One of the many worries heading into this season was the Seminoles' ability to make up for the departure of Toney Douglas' scoring. Tonight, the Seminoles had four players in double digits: Singleton, Dulkys, Gibson and Reid. The Seminole's offensive efficiency for this game was an impressive 123 on 64 possessions. These numbers may vary slightly by the ones produced by Ken Pomeroy, but that is due to the way we each do our calculations. The Seminoles went over an offensive efficiency of 120 only once last year.
There were two major improvements tonight: free throws and turnovers. The Seminoles shot 12-14 from the line. Chris Singleton made all three of his shots from the charity stripe. The TO% was 17%, much improved from 26% against Jacksonville.
Xavier Gibson had an excellent game on the low post. Chris Singleton's defense was outstanding. Michael Snaer continued to demonstrate his commitment to defense. Ryan Reid was active around the basket.
A win was expected in this game. But compare this year to last year. The Seminoles need to close out teams they should beat. Last year, they allowed teams to get back in the game. This team needs confidence and to understand that it can put teams away. There is still a lot of work to be done but this is an encouraging start. The Seminoles take on Mercer on Saturday.