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Florida State falls to No. 5 Purdue after hard fought battle

The Boilermakers escape Tallahassee with a narrow win

The Florida State Seminoles were back in Tallahassee after visiting Orlando for the ESPN Events Invitational. They had a tough task ahead with No. 5 Purdue looking to stay undefeated. Florida State had a phenomenal first half with an excellent defensive game plan, but that wasn’t enough to pull away with the upset win. The Boilermakers beat the Noles off sheer talent and coaching, going home with a 79-69 victory.


Player of the game: Darin Green Jr. showed his clear instinct to put the ball in the basket yet again. Green ended the game with 23 points, shooting 7-12 from the field.

First half

Head coach Leonard Hamilton elected to start Caleb Mills, Cam’Ron Fletcher, Matthew Cleveland, Darin Green Jr., and Naheem McLeod.

Purdue lit up the net to earn the Boilermakers the first points of the game. After a three from the Boilermakers, Mills responded with a steal and score. Jalen Warely was the first to come off the bench, giving Mills an early breather. Purdue led 3-2 with 17:59 remaining in the half.

The Seminoles were playing relatively well on the defensive end, but their struggles continued with putting points on the board. Green ended the dry streak by scoring five straight points for the Noles. Credit had to be given to McLeod though, working as the main anchor on the defensive end. After the first official timeout Florida State had the lead at 9-7.

Tom House and Cameron Corhen entered the game after the timeout as Purdue sat down star center Zach Edey. The Boilermakers subbed out a majority of their lineup and Hamilton followed that by sitting Green and Fletcher. Mills was the only starter in with 13 minutes remaining. With the Seminoles headed to the bench for a timeout, the score was tied 9-9.

Edey scored his first points of the game fresh off the timeout, finally finding an open look to find his first field goal attempt. This would eventually spark six straight points from the 7’4 giant. Despite the energy from Edey, the Seminoles snagged an and-one from Cleveland to take a 19-16 lead. That extended to 20-18 after Purdue got a technical foul for flopping and Green hit the free throw.

After the Boilermakers took back the lead, Hamilton called a timeout. With 5:54 left in the half, Purdue led 22-20 behind 13 points from Edey. Green buried a three out of the break, but the focus on Edey led to another score from Purdue’s quick guards. Corhen picked up his second foul with under four minutes remaining, joining Cleveland and Mills in that department.

House instigated another technical foul for Purdue from the sideline shortly after. The Noles were down 30-29 at the two minute mark. Despite Edey checking back in the game, Green was lights out. He dropped in another transition three for the Seminoles, tying the game at 32. The Seminoles entered the locker room down 34-32 carried by an exquisite defensive performance. Green led the Noles with 16 points on 5-7 from downtown, and Edey was the chief for the Boilermakers with 15 points at the half

Second half

Edey dropped in the first points of the game just seconds into the second half. It was clear that Purdue was going straight to their star center, even if they had to force feed him. After a basket from Edey, Cleveland snatched an and-one for the Noles. Green followed that with a bucket of his own to give the Seminoles a 37-36 lead. Green was on another planet with his confidence from beyond the arc, scoring his fourth three of the game soon after.

McLeod was turning into a liability for the Noles on both ends of the floor, especially when the Seminoles were having trouble guarding the transition, but his presence was definitely necessary. FSU headed into a timeout tied at 44 with 15:10 left in the game.

The Noles were back ahead after House knocked down a three, but they couldn’t keep that stable with the responsibility of stopping Edey. Purdue was pulling away when they’re forwards got comfortable spreading the floor on the offensive end. Florida State went on an 0-5 shooting streak, giving the Boilermakers a 55-47 lead.

Fouls were the name of the game in the midway point of the half. The Seminoles could not keep their hands away from their opponent, racking up the foul count. Cleveland put another and-one in the stat sheet, cutting the deficit to 57-54. The sophomore had 17 points on 7-8 shooting with eight minutes remaining. Corhen picked up his fourth foul on the other end, bringing McLeod back in the game.

The crowd erupted after Warley forced an offensive foul on Purdue, leading to a timeout from the Boilermakers. It seemed like the Noles had the momentum on their side, but Purdue to force two turnovers right out the gate. Purdue scored four of five field goals to give them a 63-56 advantage. Warley was constantly getting beat to the basket, with no help to show since Edey held such high regard.

There was 3:51 left in the game and Purdue led 67-60. It was obvious the Noles short rotation was hurting their success, and they didn’t seem to save enough gas in the tank to stop Braden Smith and Edey. The whistles were not favoring the Seminoles with under three minutes remaining and they had a very difficult time earning a basket with inside penetration.

Cleveland was able to plug in a three ball, leading to a timeout from Florida State with 1:07 left on the clock. They were fighting to get back in the game, but the Noles were stuck having to foul after every inbound. With Purdue scoring a couple free throws to end the game, the Seminoles fell to 1-8 on the season with a loss.

Next game: The Seminoles are scheduled to face yet another Top 5 team in the country, heading to Charlottesville to play the Virginia Cavaliers. Florida State is currently the underdog in the matchup that will be featured on ESPN2.