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FSU back court fuels rout of Mississippi State

A big 2nd half from Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dwayne Bacon, and Malik Beasley locks up a win vs the Bulldogs

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

With Florida State trailing 23-18 in the first half, and the offense struggling to get anything done against Mississippi State's surprising zone defense, FSU fans began to get restless. We'd seen this play too many times in the past: an overmatched team hanging around and capitalizing on the Noles' poor offensive execution. FSU was playing sloppy. The offense was stagnant. And the Bulldogs kept making mini runs to stay out in front.

Well, all the fears were for naught.

After a timeout the Noles began to get dribble penetration into the zone. They were crisp with the ball. They pushed tempo when the opportunity arose. A 23-18 deficit very quickly became a 37-28 halftime lead.

Boris Bojanovsky led the charge with 11 points and six rebounds in the first half.

The 2nd half began with FSU looking like they were going to blow things open. Gavin Ware - Mississippi State's big inside presence - had three fouls, and a couple Bulldogs were showing signs of cramping.

But the Bulldogs still had some fight, and they didn't let the game get out of hand. At least early.

The Noles back court however - despite whatever MSU threw at them - wasn't going to let anything bad happen. After a Terance Mann dunk on a great drawn up play coming out of the first media timeout, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dwayne Bacon, and Malik Beasley proceeded to score 30 straight points for FSU. By the time they were done, the Noles were up 22 and the game was out of hand.

Down the stretch the worn out and injured Bulldogs couldn't stop anything, and FSU walked away with a 90-66 win.

Dwayne Bacon scored 20 points on just 12 shots, and made any number of plays that could end up on SportsCenter. Malik Beasley came out of the game to a big ovation after recording his first career double-double, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. XRM also had a double-double - his first that hasn't involved assists - with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

FSU is now 7-2, and has two very winnable games before a trip to Gainesville to cap off the out of conference season. Next up is a neutral site game in Sunrise, FL vs Florida Atlantic on Saturday.