The Florida State Seminoles finished their homestand this weekend, after competing against a couple of ACC opponents. FSU started the week with a narrow loss to Syracuse, looking to bounce back against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Despite another hard-fought game from the Noles, they added another loss to their record. The 83-75 loss marks the Seminoles' fifth loss in six games.
Player of the game: Sophomore guard Jalen Warley scored a career-high 23 points for the Seminoles, starting the game 6-6 from the field.
Florida State was back in business against a team they’d already beaten just a few weeks ago. The Noles looked to capitalize off the Panthers' lineup by starting Darin Green Jr., Caleb Mills, Matthew Cleveland, Jalen Warley, and Cameron Corhen.
The Seminoles were the first to get on the board with a lob from Mills to Warley, but their continuous struggles on the defensive end had them down 5-2. Pitt knocked down their first and second three-point attempts of the game, which wasn’t a pretty site since that’s been a major issue for FSU.
Baba Miller and Naheem McLeod were the first off the bench for the Noles, replacing Corhen and Cleveland. After a decent start for the Seminoles, they were scoreless for three minutes, shooting 1-7 from the field. Cleveland broke that streak with a fastbreak slam, but Pitt came right back to punch in a triple.
Green was able to find the bottom of the net for his first three with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first half. FSU’s defense was communicating early with aggressive help, but the energy was lacking midway through the first half. There aren’t many energy boosters quite like freshman shooter Tom House, which was why he got his number called.
Nearly every game story has mirrored itself for the Noles, having trouble guarding the three and securing defensive rebounds. With the help of Miller’s length, they were able to cut the deficit down to 23-18 with 7:40 left in the half. Warley led the Seminoles in scoring with five points.
Florida State was having a poor shooting game, but Warley was able to bail them out on multiple occasions. Warley was 3-3 from the field, while the rest of the team was shooting 6-20 from the field and 1-7 from three (14%). One of the best games of Warley’s career continued after sinking a triple from the corner to put his point total to 14.
The Seminoles had possession of the ball with one minute remaining, looking up at the scoreboard to a 35-33 deficit. They were unable to add to that point total, heading into halftime down 37-33. Green attempted two three-point shots in the final 20 seconds, but none of them were falling; he shot 1-7 from distance in the first.
Florida State ended the half shooting 20% from three and 37% from the field. Pitt wasn’t too far ahead, shooting 31% from beyond the arc and 40% from the field.
Cleveland helped boost that three-point percentage, scoring the first basket for the Noles, but Florida State gave up a couple of easy buckets in the paint on the other end. Warley’s confidence picked up right where it left off, grabbing an early and-one.
Jackson and Corhen checked into the game with 15:14 remaining. Pitt carried a 45-43 lead, with Jarmarius Burton and Blake Hinson both in double-figures. Florida State tied it at 47 with under 14 minutes to go, gaining their first lead of the game since the score was 2-0.
The Seminoles’ lead didn’t last too long after Pitt scored back-to-back shots. At the 11:13 mark in the second half, FSU was down 53-50. DeAnte Green went into the game for the first time, putting McLeod back on the bench with three fouls. He buried a three-ball in his first field goal attempt and went 1-2 at the charity stripe on the very next play.
Corhen broke a two-minute scoring drought for FSU, as the Noles were falling behind with Pitt finding success from three. Mills helped lift up the crowd with a three ball, but everytime the Seminoles were able to score, they have upeasy baskets on the other end. Pitt held a 68-63 lead with 4:47 left in the game.
Shots were continuously falling in and out of the rim for the Noles ad Pitt took complete advantage. The Panthers were slowly pushing the game away from the Seminoles, having n trouble scoring on their end.
Pitt was in the double bonus in the final two minutes of the game and by then it was wrapped up. They scored a couple of free throws to extend the lead and end the game.
Next game: Florida State will head to Clemson, South Carolina to take on the Tigers on Feb. 15. The game will be featured at 7:00 ET on ACCN Extra. According to DraftKings, the Noles are listed as the No. 14 team in the ACC, currently heavy underdogs in the Clemson matchup.