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FSU loses a heartbreaker in OT, 78-75

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in their first road game of the year in front of a loud Iowa crowd, FSU came out unfazed. The Noles got two offensive rebounds on the first possession before Dwayne Bacon knocked down a jumper. Florida State scored the first six points of the game, and led 17-10 at the first half under-12 timeout.

The Noles weren't lighting up the scoreboard against Iowa's good zone defense, but on the flip side, the FSU defense looked better than they did in the Virgin Islands at pinching gaps and making crisp rotations.

Still, we knew Iowa would punch back, and that they did. After FSU jumped out to 21-14, the Hawkeyes reeled off 11 straight points to take the lead. Devon Bookert came off the bench and scored five straight near the end of the half, and FSU went into the break with a 32-31 lead.

Boris Bojanovsky played his best half of the season, scoring four and grabbing six rebounds. More importantly, he bailed out the defense numerous times by altering shots after the perimeter broke down.

One thing that would come back later in the game was the fact that Xavier Rathan-Mayes didn't seem to be getting good grip with his shoes. He slipped several times in the first half.

In the 2nd half, FSU's old demons came back as the Noles turned it over five times in the first eight minutes. And the defense fell apart. Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley sat for a long stretch after getting beat repeatedly.

With FSU floundering and it looking like Iowa was about to take control, Coach Hamilton went back to the freshmen and Malik Beasley nailed back-to-back 3s, the 2nd coming off of a great save out of bounds by Bookert and a long pass to the corner.

Iowa took the lead back, but FSU wouldn't go away. The game may have been FSU's to win down the stretch, but Iowa grabbed some key offensive rebounds. Regardless, FSU kept tying the game, and did so for the final time when Montay Brandon knocked down two free throws with with 27 seconds left to play.

Iowa had the final possession, but Devon Bookert forced Mike Gessell deep on his drive, Bojo cut him off, and Gessell threw the pass of the back of the backboard.


In OT the teams traded buckets, and the lead changed hands seven times. With Iowa up two and 20 seconds to play, FSU looked to XRM, who drove and slipped once again. Iowa got the ball and that was it.

They hit free throws. FSU made a miracle three to keep hope alive, but it was too little too late.

The Hawkeyes won 78-75.

Malik Beasley had 20 points and eight rebounds. Bojo had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. XRM had 15 points, five assists, and five turnovers. Dwayne Bacon scored 11, but took 16 shots.

The Noles have to forget about this one and get back to business, as they play VCU this weekend in Atlanta. They have a lot to build on, as despite numerous things going Iowa's way, FSU was a significant underdog and they took a veteran team into OT in their building. If they focus, this is something they can build on.