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Wyatt Wilkes leads FSU basketball to fourth straight win

Florida State pulls away from St. Francis in second half for 2nd straight blowout win

NCAA Basketball: Chattanooga at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

After a blowout win over Chattanooga on Wednesday, the Florida State Seminoles were back in action against St. Francis Saturday afternoon. FSU was without M.J. Walker and Raiquan Gray for the second straight game. Transfer Dominik Olejniczak got his first start as a Seminole, while Anthony Polite got his second straight start in place of Walker.

After a slow first two minutes, Florida State’s offense quickly got in rhythm after a Malik Osborne three. FSU would go onto hit three of their first five 3-pointers as Nathanael Jack and Polite drained back-to-back threes to push the FSU lead to 19-6. At the 12-minute mark FSU was shooting 58.3% compared to SFU’s 18.2 FG%. The Seminoles had seven different scorers just eight minutes into the game.

With Dom healthier and Balsa Koprivica starting to find his footing, Osborne has looked extremely comfortable at the four. Osborne drained his second three of the half to push the FSU lead to 16 just ten minutes into the game. SFU started to find their stroke from three as they hit two in a row to bring the Seminoles’ lead down to 10 at the under-8 media timeout. This was just the beginning of the teams raining three’s from deep.

Osborne drained another, while Wyatt Wilkes drained back-to-back from deep. But SFU kept up to pace from deep as Myles Thompson was 4-4 from deep by the under-4 media timeout. Thompson single-handedly kept SFU in the game with 17 first half points. The ’Noles and Red Flash combined to go 14-28 from three in the first half.

All 10 FSU players who touched the court scored as FSU went into the locker room up 48-36. Wilkes and Osborne both put up nine points as Trent Forrest added eight. The ‘Noles had 21 more bench points than SFU. FSU also had as many offensive boards as St. Francis had defensive boards. Most impressively, FSU put up 48 points with heir top scorer Devin Vassell playing just over five minutes due to foul trouble.

The Red Flash quickly cut the deficit to single digits out of the break as Thompson scored two quick buckets and the ‘Noles had back-to-back turnovers. SFU continued to stick around early in the second half as the Seminoles turned the ball over five times in five minutes. Vassell picked up his 4th foul early in the second half after an emphatic dunk, as he was sent back to the bench for a good chunk of time.

With 12 minutes remaining in the game, SFU and FSU had combined for 11 turnovers as neither team could go on a run due to sloppy play. At the U-12 media timeout, Wyatt Wilkes was the ‘Noles only player in double digits with FSU up 61-50. But FSU finally started to pull away after back-to-back 3’s from Polite and Wilkes pushed the FSU lead to 17. Two big dunks from Koprivica pushed the Seminoles’ lead past 20 for the first time in the game with just over six minutes left.

After that it was all but over as FSU went on to win the game 80-65. Wilkes led the way with 14 points on 5/7 shooting. Forrest and Koprivica were also in double-digits with 13 and 11 points respectively. The ‘Noles finished the game shooting the ball 47% from the field. It wasn’t the Seminoles best or cleanest performance of the season, but with two starters down and their leading scorer playing less than 20 minutes it was an impressive performance to come away with a double digit win for the second straight game.