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FSU basketball cruises in season opener

The Noles beat Charleston Southern 88-67

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Sophomore star Dwayne Bacon picked up right where he left off last year, scoring a team high 23 points and adding nine rebounds as the Seminoles beat Charleston Southern 88-67.

The game began with FSU in a bit of trouble. The Buccaneers, fresh off a 4-game preseason swing through Canada, looked to be the sharper team, taking an early 17-12 lead.

But then the ‘Noles reeled off a 20-4 run, and the game was never seriously in doubt after that.

Stretches of inconsistent play allowed CSU to remain within shouting distance at the half, down 38-32. That didn’t last long though, as the ‘Noles scored 11 straight to start the 2nd half.

Charleston Southern would occasionally cut the lead to nine, but the game was never really in doubt in the 2nd half. This was due to the Seminoles depth. Eleven guys played, and they all played at least ten minutes. FSU was able to wear the smaller Buccaneers down, a recipe that should be key to the season.

FSU fans got their first look at Dwayne Bacon’s rebuilt shooting form, and the early returns were encouraging as he knocked down 4-6 3s. Jonathan Isaac made 2-4, and scored 10 points with three steals in his NCAA debut.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes had a strong game with 12 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. His defense on the CSU point guards was also disruptive.

Sophomore Christ Koumadje had a career best nine points to go along with three blocks. Terance Mann had eight points and six rebounds, while freshman Trent Forrest had seven and six.

The Seminoles next take the court on Tuesday, against a very good Iona team.