Florida State men’s basketball scored its first points on a Jonathan Isaac three pointer just 36 seconds into the game to take a quick 3-0 lead. From there, the ‘Noles would not relinquish that lead once in what would turn out to be a 95-71 victory over NC State.
The ‘Noles move to 21-4 (9-3) on the season. The 21 wins are more than the amount of wins FSU had all of the 2015-2016 season (20-14).
Above The Rim:
The first half was all about FSU forward Jonathan Isaac who broke out after scoring just two points against Clemson in his last game. At the break, Isaac went into the locker room with 17 points on 6-9 shooting. The rest of the team shot a combined 11-29 which resulted in a quick 45 point first half. Despite the 45 points, the ‘Noles tailed off near the end, allowing NC State to end the first 20 minutes on a 14-8 run.
For NC State, guard Dennis Smith Jr. entered the game averaging 19.2 PPG. At the break, he had zero on 0-4 shooting. He would finish the game with eight, only the second time Smith scores less than 10 points this season.
One glaring stat that FSU manhandled NC State over was rebounding. Not only did FSU nearly double the Wolfpack rebounds 49-25, but Florida State had more offensive rebounds (21) than NC State had defensive rebounds (17). That led to 19 second chance points.
The ‘Noles also controlled the paint, which is where 48 of their 95 total points came from. That point figure was aided for the nine slam dunks FSU converted.
Despite all of the good FSU did, the defense struggled in allowing NC State to make 47% of its field goals. Luckily for FSU, it only saw the Pack convert on five of 21 attempts from behind the arc.
The other area FSU struggled at the free throw line —- nothing new for the Seminoles. The team went 20-31 (64.5%) from the charity stripe, 8-11 of that coming from Jonathan Isaac.
Isaac led the game in scoring with 21 points on 6-10 shooting. Guard Dwayne Bacon also contributed heavily in the victory, scoring 19 points to go along with his 9 rebounds. Terance Mann quietly grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight points with five assists.
The team shot (34-70) 49% and had 1.34 points per possession against an NC State defense that only allowed more than 1.35 points per possession against one other team this year.
The ‘Noles had the advantage in every hustle stat of the game.
FSU only turned the ball over seven times and NC State did not record a singe steal. The team also recorded six blocks, all from six different players.
Off the bench, forward Phil Cofer led reserves with eight points, including 2-2 from 3pt range. In total, the bench scored 28 points. Florida State also had more fastbreak points (13-4), points off turnovers (13-9), steals (5-0) and assists (20-13) than its opposition.
Now here comes the tough love.
Yes, FSU won by 24 points in what seemed like a dominant victory, however the score could have played in the ‘Noles favor much much more. Not visible on the box score was the sudden changes in momentum and effort that you could see the players perform with. The NC State defense was letting the ‘Noles run all over them, and the Seminoles still could not take full advantage.
Those small periods of time where Florida State faltered, NC State was able to regain some momentum on runs. NC State had periods where it outscored FSU 11-4, 13-6 and 12-7. The Seminoles were able to fend it off, creating big runs and momentum shifts of their own and put away a now 14-11 Wolfpack.
Does complaining about the effort in a 24-point victory officially make FSU a basketball school?
Post game quotes:
Florida State Seminoles Basketball head coach Leonard Hamilton talks about the big victory over NC State Basketball.Posted by TomahawkNation.com on Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Waiting at the Scorer’s Table:
Florida State now heads to Notre Dame on Saturday at 6 PM to play its third game in six days this week.