On a Thanksgiving afternoon, No. 25 Florida State headed north to Brooklyn for the holidays. The team participated alongside Illinois, West Virginia and its opponent on Thursday, Temple, in the NIT Tip-Off tournament. Despite holding a lead for more than 30 minutes of the game, FSU fell to Temple 89-86.
Above the Rim
The biggest threat on Temple’s offense was junior forward Obi Enechionyia. Coming into the game, the Virginia native was averaging 20.8 points per game on over 50% shooting. In the first half, he was held to just five points on 2-8 shooting. He would finish the game 7-13 with 16 points.
At the end of the first half, Temple was shooting just 40% from the field, and fell behind by as many as 18 points once the second half opened. However, that changed quickly as the Owls looked like a completely different team down the stretch of the game, putting up 58 second half points on 53.1% shooting, including 8-14 from outside the arc.
Florida State did not shoot poorly itself, finishing the day 55% from the field. From three-point range, led by excellent performances from Jonathan Isaac and Dwayne Bacon who went a combined 5-9 beyond-the-arc, the ‘Noles shot a season high 44%, a much higher standard than its season average of 27.8%.
A big factor in the loss was Florida State’s inability to crash the boards. All season, FSU had no issues in that department, out rebounding its opponents by an average of 11 boards per game. However, FSU was out rebounded by Temple 36-30, including 17 offensive rebounds by the Owls which led to 18 second-chance points.
The Owls are known for playing a slower pace of offense, the exact opposite of a fast-paced Florida State basketball team that entered Thursday averaging 96.5 points per game. In the opening 20 minutes, FSU managed only 32 possessions, by far the team’s least in a half so far this season.
That shifted in the second half, though. Temple started to play more up-tempo, accumulating more points in the first 12 minutes of the second half than the Owls had in the entire first half. Over the final 20 minutes, they outscored the Seminoles 58-45.
Leading the surge for FSU was Jonathan Isaac with a career high three assists to go along with 19 points on 7-12 shooting. Dwayne Bacon shot even better, going 9-12 with 22 points. Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Terance Mann both got into double digits, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively with CJ Walker adding seven off the bench.
Although FSU shot much better from beyond the three point line, the Seminoles still shot poorly from behind the free throw line, going 12-18. Temple got to the line 27 total times, making 20. In the end, Temple performed better than its season average in field goal percentage, 3 pt percentage, free throw percentage, offensive rebounds and blocks.
Florida State Seminoles Basketball head coach Leonard Hamilton reflects on the team's first loss of the season to Temple.Posted by TomahawkNation.com on Thursday, November 24, 2016
Waiting at the Scorer’s Table:
Florida State has a quick, less-than-24-hour turnover before it faces Illinois in the consolation game of the NIT Season Tip-Off.