For most of Saturday’s top-25 matchup, the No. 22 Seminoles trailed the No. 16 Cardinals, but this was certainly not the case when it mattered most...in overtime. The Seminoles came out on top over Louisville, 80-75, to win their fifth consecutive ACC game for the first time since the Seminoles’ ACC Championship season of 2011-12.
Florida State’s junkyard defense sprung into action within the last five minutes. After the Seminoles scored eight unanswered points, Louisville hushed a lively packed Tuck putting one in from outside the arc. The threes continued to rain down for the Cards allowing them to shorten their deficit to only three with just 45 seconds left. After Terance Mann went 1-2 from the charity stripe, Louisville’s Christen Cunningham converted on a 3-point play bringing the game within one. A pair of free throws by Forrest followed by a missed 3-point jumper from the Cardinals’ Ryan McMahon put the ball back into the hands of Walker who sealed the Seminoles’ victory with two more made free throws.
Louisville ended the game shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc accounting for 36 of their points compared to the Seminoles, shooting 30.4 percent for 21 points. Florida State was able to keep this one close by scoring 32 points off of the Cardinals 22 turnovers to the Seminoles eight turnovers for five points. Louisville has averaged 12 turnovers per game this game.
With just under two minutes left to go in regulation, the Seminoles played some inspired ball tying up the game after a Kabengele put-back dunk was followed by an amazing steal from MJ Walker leading him to an immediate lay in to tie the game at 63. A pair of free throws from Cunningham and a made layup from Trent Forrest forced the game into overtime, 65-65.
Kabengele led all scorers with 22 but was closely followed by 20 from Mann (3-4 from three) and 15 from Forrest. Phil Cofer, PJ Savoy, and Christ Koumadje combined for zero points. Kabengele also led the way with 7 rebounds, with both Forrest and Christ Koumadje adding 6 boards a piece. Forrest also had 4 assists, 0 turnovers, and 5 steals to complete a thorough stuffing of his stat line.
The Seminoles got off to an awfully slow start, shooting 2/12 from the floor to Louisville’s 5/7. With 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Florida State appeared to come to life going to the bench to spark a 12-0 run over 2:54 minutes, but this “new” team didn’t stay long and Florida State continued to play some more ugly basketball well into the second half.
To close the half, the Seminoles shot 9-31 from the field compared to Louisville’s 12-25. FSU went 33% on 2s, 23% on 3s, and 57% from the line.