The NIT has been a tale of two teams. Against Florida Gulf Coast FSU really struggled without Ian Miller, and needed a grinding, defensive effort to advance. Tonight, with Ian Miller ready to contribute - but still clearly hobbled - FSU went to a zone and hoped for the best. The zone allowed Ian to defend a much smaller space, and for Aaron Thomas and Devon Bookert to stay somewhat fresh despite combining for 75 minutes on the floor. The zone hardly slowed Georgetown down, but it did just enough. Thomas and Bookert responded with arguably their finest offensive games as Noles, Ian was able to stay on the floor for 26 minutes, and FSU's offense clicked.
Georgetown offered a clue to how this game was going to go by draining their first three 3-point attempts on their way to an 11-5 lead. By the first tv timeout it was 11-9. From there, it was a back and forth game until the final media timeout, with the score 33-30 good guys. FSU then used a 15-5 run to take a 48-35 lead at the break.
In the 2nd half, FSU kept making shots, and Georgetown kept getting easy scoring opportunities against the Noles' porous zone. The Hoyas were able to cut it to eight before FSU made another run, this time pushing the lead into double digits for the majority of the 2nd half. Georgetown was able to cut it to eight in the final minute, but they couldn't get any closer. With the Hoyas pressing, the Noles dialed up the tried-and-true home run play on the inbounds, with Bojo hitting Montay for a dunk which pushed FSU in triple digits. The final was 101-90.This was a very physical and chippy game, with 4 technical fouls called.
Aaron Thomas had 26 points (on just 10 shots) and grabbed six boards, Bookert had a career high 21 points and tied his career mark with nine assists, Ian Miller had 18, and Okaro White had 16 points and three blocks. The team made 11-16 3s for the game.
Now the Noles get to play a familiar NIT foe. In last year's opening round FSU lost to Louisiana Tech 71-66. Now, after wins over Iona and Georgia, LA Tech has advanced for the rematch vs FSU, with a trip to Madison Square Garden and the NIT Final Four on the line. The game will tip on Wednesday at 7 pm.