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FSU basketball dominant in upset of No. 5 Florida

The ’Noles have now won four straight vs their rival.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first three weeks of the season, the Florida Gators have been one of the most exciting teams in basketball. They’ve been scoring in bunches - 100+ in four of six games - and that excitement was reflected in a raucous, sold-out O-Dome tonight against Florida State.

And two and a half minutes into the game, they trailed 10-1.

FSU came out hot, scoring on four of their first five possessions. And more importantly, their defense - which has looked solid but not great against lesser opponents - was extremely disruptive.

There was a dry spell through much of the middle of the first half, and the Gators were able to knock down enough shots to keep it close. However, the ’Noles scored the final eight points of the half to take a 42-35 lead.

The Gators entered the game shooting 46% from beyond the arc, so a run in the 2nd half seemed inevitable.

That run never happened.

Instead, Florida State clinically picked them apart, taking a double-digit lead with over 13 minutes to go.

Florida picked up a hair of momentum, so Leonard Hamilton switched to a zone for the first time all night. While the zone wasn’t great, it was effective, and the Gators looked lost.

By then, the game was over. The closest UF got was 12, and it seemed CJ Walker and Terance Mann had an answer every time the Gators scored.

In the end, Florida State won 83-66. It was the largest home defeat ever suffered by a ranked Florida team.

Mann led all scorers with a career-high 25 points. Walker made 3-6 3s on his way to 17 points, and added five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Braian Angola had 10 points, and Phil Cofer had his first double-double since he was healthy as a freshman, scoring 10 (including a highlight alley-oop dunk), while snagging 12 rebounds.

The Seminoles are now 7-0 and are one of 13 remaining unbeaten teams. They face a quick turnaround, hosting Loyola (MD) on Wednesday.