No. 18 FSU (12-2) defeated Georgia Tech (6-7) 70-58 on Tuesday afternoon as Florida State begins a tough ACC slate.
FSU’s defense created havoc early, turning GT over three times within their first five possessions. Devin Vassell paced the Seminole offense early, scoring FSU’s first five points. Both teams started slow on offense, combining to shoot just 8-25 in the first eight minutes of the game as FSU built a 13-9 lead at the U-12 media timeout.
The Seminoles’ interior defense was dominant on Tuesday, blocking seven shots in just 13 minutes of game time. On the other hand, FSU was getting dominated on the glass as they gave up eight offensive rebounds by the U-8 media timeout as the game was knotted at 17.
The first half was sloppy and neither team could get in rhythm and build a large lead. The teams combined to turn the ball over 21 times and shoot 39% from the field. FSU went into the locker room with a 31-29 lead behind Vassell’s eight points. Dominik Olejniczak also added seven points on 3-4 shooting.
The ‘Noles and Yellow Jackets both came out of the locker rooms looking to push the tempo and draining shots. The ‘Noles made five of their first ten shots as Rayquan Evans’ second three-pointer of the season pushed the FSU lead to four at the first media timeout of the half.
FSU simply couldn’t pull away from Georgia Tech. The ‘Noles never surrendered the lead in the first eight minutes of the half, but couldn’t extend their lead past five. Michael Devoe single-handedly kept the Yellow Jackets in the game, as he hit five of his first six three-pointers. Devoe’s fifth three cut the Seminoles’ lead to two with 11:47 remaining.
The Seminoles extended their lead past five for the first time in the game with 9:50 remaining after two flagrant free throw’s by Anthony Polite and a made layup from Raiquan Gray. Vassell provided the highlight of the game on an alley-oop slam from Trent Forrest. Patrick Williams’ back-to-back buckets put FSU up 58-50 at the U-8 media timeout.
Malik Osborne put up back-to-back highlights on offense with an alley-oop slam and a three-pointer that moved the FSU lead to double digit and put the game away. The Seminoles simply wore down the Yellow Jackets down the stretch. FSU went on to win 70-58 over the Yellow Jackets after finishing the game on a 23-13 run in the last 10:55 of the game.
FSU was as sloppy as they could be in the first half, but came out of the locker room sharp to get the W. FSU shot 53.3% in the second half and only turned the ball over two times. The ‘Noles played most of the game without starter M.J. Walker (hip injury) and Balsa Koprivica (back injury), but still had 10 scorers in the ball game. Florida State continues to show it is a second half time and that the depth of the team comes through late in the game.
The wealth was spread all over the floor for the ‘Noles on Tuesday night. FSU had five players score at least eight points as Williams and Vassell were both in double digits. Vassell also pulled down nine rebounds while Forrest dished out six assists.
FSU heads to Louisville on Saturday to take on the #7 Cardinals at 2:00 PM.