TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – ‘Tis the season of giving, and the Florida State offense was in a giving mood much to the chagrin of head coach Leonard Hamilton.
The Seminoles (9-2) gifted Charleston Southern (4-8) 13 first half turnovers, but FSU overcame a careless start for a 75-64 victory; their fifth win in a row.
Many of the first half turnovers were unforced errors. Of the 13 turnovers, only two were credited to CSU as steals.
“We couldn’t seem to control the ball,” said Hamilton referencing his team’s 18 turnovers in the game. “When you have that many possessions that are empty, it takes it toll on a team that was really moving the ball well.”
Florida State had been making strides in the turnover department since last season. The Seminoles were ranked 320th in the country with a turnover margin of -2.6 a season ago. Coming into the Charleston Southern game, the Noles improved their margin to +2.3, good enough for 66th in the country.
Florida State led for almost the entirety of the game. The exception came when Patrick Wallace hit a three to give the Buccaneers a 37-36 lead two minutes into the second half.
Florida State responded with a 16-5 run over the next seven minutes capped off by a Dwayne Bacon layup. CSU never cut the deficit to less than six points from then on.
Bacon, who was just named ACC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season, posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Malik Beasley added another 16 points for the Noles.
“Those are really really talented young guys,” Charleston Southern head coach Barclay Radebaugh said. “They’re very tough to guard and presented a tremendous number of problems. They’re among some of the very best freshman in the country, and we’ve traveled a lot.”
The Buccaneers rely heavily on their three-point shooting, putting up the 10th most threes per game in the country. Charleston Southern went 11-for-37 from beyond the arc, but their misses led to a lot of long rebounds and easy transition buckets for FSU.
“That’s the best offensive transition team I’ve seen on film or in person,” Radebaugh said. “They have made a commitment on the offensive end to run, and they ran.”
Florida State will have a week off before facing rival Florida (7-3) Dec. 29 in Gainesville. The Gators suffered back-to-back losses to No.13 Miami and No. 1 Michigan State, but bounced back with a 72-70 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday.