Two days after losing to No. 1 Duke at home in the final seconds, No. 11 Florida State went on the road and faced a Pitt team hungry to prove that their rebuild under first-year head coach Jason Capel is ahead of schedule. The Panthers aggressiveness paid off with a 75-62 win over the Seminoles.
Above The Rim
Winning on the road in the ACC is extremely difficult even when a team is playing well. Doing so when the home team attempts 46 free throws and hits 38 of them (82.6%), is nearly impossible. Sure, the refs made several calls that were questionable at best, but FSU has sent their opponents to the free throw line too often all season, and that tendency came back to haunt them in this matchup. On a positive note, the ‘Noles shot 20-27 (74.1%) from the line and are now shooting 73.8% on the season.
The difficulty of winning on the road is further compounded by shooting 2-22 from beyond the arc. Phil Cofer connected from deep for the ‘Noles first field goal with 18:03 on the clock in the 1st Half and the next three would not come until PJ Savoy got one to fall with the game already decided at 20 seconds remaining in the 2nd. Cofer has been the team’s best shooter at 43.3% since his return from injury, but the ‘Noles are now #283 in the country on 31.3% shooting from three on the season.
Christ Koumadje finished with an impressive line of 7 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 20 minutes of play. Koumadje did a good job of crashing the boards and protecting the rim without fouling, committing 3 personal fouls in a game that saw 31 whistled against the ‘Noles.
Trent Forrest was obviously bothered by his turf toe injury, especially late in the game, but still had 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 19 points in 34 minutes on the court. His explosiveness was mostly negated by the injury, and Seminole fans will have their fingers crossed that not playing until Sunday will give him time to recoup. Backup point guard David Nichols has played well at times this season but struggled against the Panthers.
No. 11 FSU travels to Boston College for a noon tip on Sunday.