Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@JordanPandyFS)
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State on the giving end of back-to-back blowouts as they put up 95 points on North Carolina State in a 95-71 win. Jonathan Isaac was the high-scoring man, putting up 21 points in the game.
Isaac, who scored just two points in the previous game, came out firing. Isaac scored the first seven points for the Seminoles and scored 17 in the first half.
“It makes the game a lot easier,” said Isaac. “It gets the nerves out the way in the beginning of the game when you hit your first shot.”
Before the game, this looked like it was going to be a freshman showdown between Isaac and Wolfpack leading scorer (leads all ACC freshmen) Dennis Smith Jr., but only one freshman held up their end of the bargain. Smith Jr., who averages 19.2 points a game, was held to just eight points in the game – all in the second half.
The Seminoles threw everything they had at Smith Jr., having him pressured all the way up the court, double teams, and I whole slew of different defenders. His main matchup was against experience Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who loved the challenge.
“We’re big-time athletes – we take challenges,” said XRM. “You see somebody on the other side at your position that you feel like can challenge you, you take the challenge. Competitive juices are always flowing, and you do everything to help your team win ballgames, and that’s something I wanted to do tonight.”
Jonathan Isaac, who helped out on Smith Jr. tonight, spoke on the extra attention given to the NC State guard.
“You have to,” said Isaac. “The dude’s extremely talented and it takes a team to defend him – not just one person. We had that mindset going in that it takes five guys on the court to defend him, so that’s what we did.”
The advantage in star-studded freshmen tonight was essential to the victory, but another area that the Noles dominated in was rebounding. Florida State outrebounded NC State 49-25, gathering 21 offensive rebounds to the Wolfpack’s eight.
“Today I thought they just whipped us on the glass,” said NC State head coach Mark Gottfried. “That was the story of today’s game.”
The next game for the Seminoles will be on the road this Saturday against the Fighting Irish who shot 71% from three in in their last matchup in Tallahassee. Florida State has had their struggles on the road this season, but if Notre Dame shoots like that again at home this time, it will be an even tougher game for the Seminoles.