If you're a fan of offensive basketball above all else, then the 1st half of tonight's game was a present to you. A missed shot at the buzzer was the only thing that kept these two teams from combining for 100 points in what was a low tempo (33 possession) half. Neither team could execute their zone defense, and both teams were unconscious from distance, and Florida State took a 53-45 lead into the break.
In the 2nd half FSU predominantly switched to a more effective man-to-man defense, and the half was played without much drama. The Noles maintained an 8-12 point lead for essentially the entire half, slowed the game down late, and won 86-75. FSU (9-6, 1-1) got their first ACC win of the season.
Freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes spent most of the night at the point, and played an excellent game. For stretches it seemed that no one on the Hokies could stick with him, and he got inside the defense early and often. He finished with a team high 22 points, adding three assists. Fellow freshman starter Phil Cofer provided his usual hustle and energy, scoring seven points and grabbing seven rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. FSU's 3rd freshman - Robbie Berwick - came off the bench and provided a great lift. He played 22 minutes (2nd highest total for him this season) and had 13 points and six rebounds. He also had several deflections and hustle plays.
Juniors Devon Bookert and Montay Brandon complemented the three freshmen. Book made 4-7 3-pointers, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds. Montay added 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Noles now face a tough stretch where they'll play on the road in four of the next five games. It starts on Sunday when FSU visits the Carrier Dome for the first time since 1997.