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Baseline Breakdown: No. 13 FSU pulls away for blowout win over Canisius

The ’Noles took care of business in 2nd half.

NCAA Basketball: Florida at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

A slow start saw Florida State trail for several minutes in the first half, and the game was as close as 6 points with just under fifteen minutes to go. Canisius provided a tough game most of the way, but in the end, the ’Noles pulled away to make it a 93-61 blowout win.

Above The Rim:

FSU shot well from the line, going 24-30 (80%). Coach Leonard Hamilton often mentions that he sees his players hit free throws in practice and that was evident in this one.

In both home games this season, the Seminoles’ defensive effort received effusive praise from the visiting coach. Their length and constant effort gave the Golden Griffins fits at times, ultimately wearing them down and leading to the final margin. Overall, it was a great defensive effort with little to criticize. However, the one thing I noticed was the wings over-helping on drives, leaving shooters open in the corners. The visitors were able to get several open threes and began to look for it as the ’Noles never seemed to adjust. Obviously, as the competition level rises, Ham’s men will have to improve in that area, or risk getting exploited.

Court Level:

Mfiondu Kabengele set a new career-high with 18 points. He showed a more aggressive side on the offensive end and that paid off in drawing numerous fouls (he’s 4th nationally in fouls drawn/40 mins). “Fi” went 6-10 from the charity stripe on the night.

PJ Savoy continues to show improvement on the defensive end. He made a couple hustle plays, including one to save a steal, as well as a nice close out to cause a bad pass instead of a three point attempt. He missed the two shots he attempted (both threes), but his increased defensive effort allows him to still contribute when he’s not hitting from deep.

The ’Noles continue to get good contributions from their “newcomers”. True freshman Devin Vassell finished with 10 points and 3 steals (and looked very comfortable doing slow after a slow start to the game). Redshirt freshman Anthony Polite chipped in 9 points, had 2 assists, and continues to show a good grasp of the defensive philosophy. Fellow redshirt freshman, Raiquan Gray, showed his all-around skills with 4 points and 3 rebounds (the game looked to slow down for him after his poor showing at Tulane). And sophomore (he’s essentially a first-year player after getting very limited playing-time last season) Wyatt Wilkes nailed two 3’s late.

Post Game:

Coach Hamilton:

Canisius Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon:

M.J. Walker:

Trent Forrest:

Up Next:

Florida State will travel to Lake Buena Vista, FL to face UAB in their first game in the Advocare Invitational on Thanksgiving Day at 9:30 pm on ESPN2/ESPNU.