FSU hasn't had a losing season in 11 years, and they needed a win today to ensure that that statement remained true. Against a Pittsburgh team fighting for their life on the NCAA tournament bubble, Kiel Turpin came up big on senior day. Getting his first start since early December, Turpin was a steadying presence on an otherwise rattled team. He made 5-6 shots from the field, grabbed five rebounds, and blocked a couple of shots.
This was a game which Florida State led for the final 31 minutes, but - due to turnovers - they were never able to pull away. They took a 2-point lead into the break and almost immediately pushed that lead to seven in the 2nd half. But Pitt kept hanging around, and most of the half was played in a danger zone with FSU up two possessions.
With FSU's offense sputtering, the Noles turned to a defense which had disappeared for the past two games. They came out tough today though, holding Pitt well below their season average on 2s and 3s, as well as on the offensive glass. FSU forced the Panthers to turn it over on 21% of their possessions, which was their 2nd worst game in ACC play. The Noles blocked four shots and came up with seven steals.
Pitt made a run late when FSU couldn't break their press, but they weren't able to turn those stops into enough points, and in the end they had to start fouling. Florida State knocked down their freebies, and walked away with a 61-52 win.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes led all players with 19 points and five assists, while Montay Brandon and Turp each scored 10.
FSU's next game is Wednesday at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro.