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Baseline Breakdown: Florida State takes care of Manhattan in Orange Bowl Classic

The ‘Noles improve to 11-1 on the season.

NCAA Basketball: Orange Bowl Basketball Classic-Manhattan at Florida State
Michael Ojo dunks vs. Manhattan
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Florida State extended its perfect record in the Orange Bowl Classic to 7-0 with an 83-67 victory over Manhattan. The ‘Noles now sit at 11-1 on the season with one final out-of-conference game before their grueling ACC slate. The football team will now look to complete the Orange Bowl sweep.

Above the Rim:

FSU started the game shooting well above average, hitting 10 of its first 12 shots. On the other end, Jaspers were just as successful hitting seven of its first nine. Leading by as many as 10 points early, Florida State saw that lead dissipate, finding itself trailing by three less than five minutes later.

Later in the first half, there was a stretch of over eight and a half minutes that FSU did not make a field goal, but amazingly, the ‘Noles only attempted three shots in that span. The reason? Manhattan committed 18 team fouls in the first half, sending the ‘Noles to the line 22 times. FSU converted 16, but their own foul trouble kept it close, as they were only up five at the half, despite shooting 67% from the field.

Florida State had six different players with at least two fouls, including Dwayne Bacon’s technical foul, heading into the locker room. It was a free throw contest for both teams the entire game. Although there were 56 combined fouls, surprisingly not one player on either team fouled out. The Seminoles went 27-40 from the line, below its 72% average.

In the second half, FSU slowed down offensively, but only slightly. Shooting 48%, the ‘Noles only attempted one three-point shot but forced 11 turnovers from the Jaspers, helping the team win the second half scoring battle 37-26. Bacon led the Seminoles with 16 points en route to his second consecutive Orange Bowl Classic MVP award — the first Seminole ever to win it twice.

FSU won the rebounding battle 37-23 and took advantage with 17 second chance points. Meanwhile, the ‘Noles held Manhattan to four.

For the contest Florida State shot 56% from the field and went 2-6 from deep. Jonathan Isaac contributed nine points, nine rebounds, two blocks and four steals. Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists in the win.

Court Level:

With Manhattan pressuring the Seminoles offense throughout the first half, FSU could not run the quick offense that helped lead the team to its 10-1 record. The four fast break points and seven turnovers put Florida State behind the Jaspers by three with less than seven minutes remaining in the opening half.

The offensive pace issues were solved in the second half when Florida State found its groove and was able to run the court. The ‘Noles scored 10 of its 14 fast break points and had eight steals, most of those leading to transition buckets.

The team had no problem spreading the ball around with eight different players scoring before the ‘Noles had 25 points. The bench played a key role, especially with much of the team in foul trouble, scoring 32 points.

Off that bench, Trent Forrest led the way with 10 points, one of three ‘Noles in double digits, while Phil Cofer added nine.

Michael Ojo scored the first six Seminoles points and had seven total in his nine minutes on the court. Coach Leonard Hamilton attributed his lack of playing time to the small, quick offense of Manhattan and felt a different defender would suit better.

In the latter half of the game, the ‘Noles started to separate themselves, and play true, Florida State basketball. 10 of the first 13 points came from the paint with the athleticism forcing Manhattan to turn the ball over 11 times for a total of 18. Not only did the Seminoles force the change of possession, but took advantage, scoring 22 total points off said turnovers.

The athleticism also translated to multiple driving layups and inside shots. FSU had more than half, 46 to be exact, of its 83 total points inside the paint.

Post Game:

FSU guard C.J. Walker missed the game due to a thigh bruise. FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton addressed the injury in his post game presser.

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello stated multiple times that FSU will be a tournament team.

Here is the full post game press conference from Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton and guard Dwayne Bacon.

Florida State Seminoles Basketball head coach Leonard Hamilton gave his thoughts following a victory over Manhattan.

Posted by on Saturday, December 17, 2016

Waiting at the Scorer’s Table:

Florida State finishes its out of conference schedule with a home match up against Samford Monday at 2 pm.