In the game preview we noted that this would be a game where FSU could get their offense back in sync, and they wasted little time doing just that. FSU repeatedly attacked the soft interior of UCF's defense and was able to score at will. The Noles made 17-22 2s in the first half and didn't even attempt a 3-pointer until their last shot before the break. UCF was able to keep pace for a bit, but the Noles pulled away in the final five minutes of the first half. FSU led by ten at the half, and in the 2nd the game was never contested. The Seminoles won 96-73 and played the final few minutes with walkons.
The good cheer began before the game even started when it was announced that junior Aaron Thomas would be in the starting lineup. He was healthy, and able to play his first complete game in two weeks. His presence helped open up the Knight defense, and he scored 22 points on the night, adding four assists. The star of the game though - once again - was his running mate Montay Brandon. Montay scored a career high 23 points on 10-12 shooting, grabbed six rebounds, and didn't commit a turnover. I don't recall him taking a shot from more than five feet from the rim. His only weak spot was struggling from the line (3-7).
Sophomore Jarquez Smith scored a career high 16, and benefited greatly from FSU's guards being able to get inside the defense. Kiel Turpin added 10 points, and Dayshawn Watkins continued his vastly improved play with four points, six assists, and zero turnovers.
Now FSU turns their attention to a brief entry to ACC play and will travel to Notre Dame next Saturday.