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Seminoles beat No. 12 Louisville for 17th straight home win

The ‘Noles face six straight ranked teams and go 5-1

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

In the game’s final minute, with FSU clinging to a 3-point lead, Xavier Rathan-Mayes found Dwayne Bacon in the corner for what would have been the dagger. But it wasn’t to be. Instead, Louisville had a chance to tie.

This team, though, can win games on both ends of the court. After getting torched by dribble penetration for the first 10 minutes of the second half, the team got it together and played some defense. They knew Louisville was going to play for the two, and they perfectly funneled Tony Hicks right into the trees where he tossed up a wild layup attempt. Jonathan Isaac grabbed the rebound and kicked it to Bacon. And this time he did have the dagger - with two FTs.

Florida State (18-2, 6-1) won 73-68.

The game began with FSU looking unstoppable, running out to a 14-0 lead after the tip. It’s easy for fans to get excited and forget that basketball is a game of runs when that type of thing happens, but sure enough, Louisville stormed right back.

But every time the Cardinals would cut it to a single possession, the ‘Noles would knock down some shots and extend the lead back to five or six. Louisville was never able to tie or take the lead, and at the break FSU led 41-35.

In the 2nd half, Louisville’s vaunted defense began to flex it’s muscles. Nearly every pass was contested. Nearly every shot was contested. Nothing came easy.

Their defense was exceptional at taking away transition opportunities. Against other teams, Florida State would have had at least another half dozen fast break buckets, but the Cardinals were beating the ‘Noles to the rim.

It looked like a regional final. These were two really good teams trading blows, and FSU emerged on top.

Jonathan Isaac continued his great play with his 3rd straight efficient double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Dwayne Bacon struggled at times, but finished with 16 points. All of the offensive fouls he was whistled for earlier in ACC play seem to be affecting his aggressiveness toward the rim. Terance Mann was all over the place, and finished with 15 points. And Michael Ojo, who dominated the early minutes of the game, scored 10.

Florida State’s defense held Louisville to just 68 points in 72 possessions, and are just the second team in the last 15 games to hold the Cardinals below a point per possession. Donovan Mitchell, the Cardinals leading scorer, was held to six points on just 2-10 shooting.

FSU, which has played five of seven ACC games at home, now begins a 3-game road swing with a trip to Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.