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FSU basketball advances in NCAA Tournament with blowout win over Missouri

The Seminoles now face Xavier in 2nd round for 2nd straight season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Missouri vs Florida State Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Like many games this season, it was a tale of two halves. FSU was completely dominant in the 1st half. In the 2nd half, the tempo switched to Missouri’s favor, and the comeback was made. But even at its closest, the Tigers were never able to cut Florida State’s 2nd half lead under six, and in the end, the ’Noles walked away with a comfortable 67-54 win.

The game started, predictably, with Missouri’s best shooter burying a heavily contested 3-pointer. Then, Terance Mann made 1-2 at the line, before Mizzou hit another three. And in the blink of an eye, the ’Noles were down 7-1.

However, from there, it was all FSU. The ’Noles amped up the defensive pressure, turning multiple Mizzou possessions into breakaways toward FSU’s basket.

The Seminoles ripped off an 11-0 run to take a 12-7 lead. Then, once Missouri thought they’d found their footing with a couple good possessions, FSU stormed on a 9-1 run to take control of the game.

Missouri made a small run to cut the lead to nine with about 4:30 to go in the half. But Leonard Hamilton called a timeout, got the team refocused, and it was all Florida State until the break. After the TO, FSU finished the half on a 13-0 run.

Florida State forced 10 turnovers in the first half and capitalized by making half their 2s and 63% of their 3s.

The 2nd half began exactly as the 1st, with Missouri jumping out to a 7-1 advantage. The difference, this time around, was that Florida State didn’t immediately respond with a huge run.

Instead, Mizzou steadily cut into the lead, and closed the game to 50-44 with 9:53 to play. Compounding that was Terance Mann suffering a groin injury while Missouri made their move.

Then, with #FSUTwitter set to lose their minds, the Seminoles went on a 15-0 run to put the game on ice.

Down the stretch, the ending was inevitable, and Florida State advanced with a 67-54 win over 8-seed Missouri.

Mfiondu Kabengele had a huge game, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. PJ Savoy made 3-6 3s on his way to 12 points. Phil Cofer had 11, and Trent Forrest had eight points, six rebounds, and eight assists.

Florida State improves to 21-11 on the year, and advances to play top-seeded Xavier on Sunday night in Nashville.