After two three-pointers from M.J. Walker in the first three possessions of the game, the ’Noles hit a speed bump and found themselves down 14-13 to Canisius at the second media timeout. Good defensive effort was given, but the Golden Griffins were able to hang around and made it a hard fought game. A 13-1 run over the next three minutes lifted FSU to a 26-15 lead at the under-eight break and that stretched to 42-27 at the half.
The ’Noles mustered just two points by the first media timeout of the 2nd half, slimming the lead to 44-35 with 16:13 left. The Golden Griffins cut it to as close as six at 47-41 with 14 minutes to go, but the Seminoles tightened up from that point on and turned it into a 93=61 blowout by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Canisius turned Florida State’s 15 turnovers into 19 points, accounting for 31% of their total for the game. The Seminole Sound and FSU students continuously jabbed at Canisius’ Scott Hitchon after he was called for an early double foul on him and Christ Koumadje, and appeared to be looking for a fight most of the game. Hitchon was called for a dead ball contact foul, throwing an elbow at Terance Mann and was ejected by Mike Eades with 13:10 remaining.
Leading the way for Florida State was Mfiondu Kabengele with 18 points, a new career high, and adding 6 rebounds. Mann, and Walker both added 12 points, and Trent Forrest and Koumadje added 8 (FSU’s center also tied a career-high with 9 rebounds). True freshman Devin Vassell was impressive, finishing with 10 points and 3 steals. Redshirt freshman Anthony Polite added 9 points. All 11 Seminoles scored.
This was as about as close as a 32 point win can be. FSU’s depth and energy just wore the Golden Griffins down. Ultimately, the ’Noles led for 35:47 out of 40 total minutes. The Noles shot well from the charity stripe, finishing 24-30 (80%). The effort they played with tonight was impressive and they’ll look to raise that even higher later this week in Orlando for three games in the Advocare Invitational beginning on Thanksgiving night against UAB and continuing on Friday and Sunday.