After three straight outings of failing to come up with a win, Florida State came out and cleaned its act up to defeat the Maine Black Bears, 91-59.
Sure, FSU was undoubtedly expected to beat Maine and do so easily. However, the manner in which the Seminoles played on Sunday afternoon was impressive, regardless of the opponent.
"I thought our effort was much better today for a majority of the game," Leonard Hamilton said after the game. "On the defensive end, especially -- I thought we were more active."
Despite missing both Terrance Shannon and Ian Miller, FSU found ways to be productive on the offensive end. An already obviously young team was put to the test, and the freshmen made their presence known.
The seven freshmen accounted for 38 of FSU's 91 points, with Aaron Thomas leading the way with 15 of his own points.
"It put them in a situation where, they come to college, they all want to play, and now you put them in a situation where they have to step up," Hamilton said.
In the most recent debacle against the Florida Gators, FSU only managed to create seven assists, while turning the ball over 22 times. Against Maine, however, FSU racked up 16 dimes on the day and only turned the ball over seven times – including just once in the second half.
"This team performs better when we are creating for each other," Hamilton said.
FSU also turned things on from the three-point line, an area that hasn’t been all that kind to the Seminoles during their recent misfortunes.
Senior guard Michael Snaer had a game-high 19 points on Sunday afternoon.
The Seminoles shot a lights-out 45.5 percent from downtown, scoring 33 of their 91 points from beyond the arch.
Another encouraging note for FSU was the noticeable difference in senior Michael Snaer’s approach to the game. After appearing somewhat passive last week, Snaer came out with a clear mission to attack the rim whenever given the opportunity.
"It was good that he was taking it upon himself to be aggressive," Hamilton said. "I think it set the tempo.
"He realizes where we are and he doesn't like it. He wants to have a good year."
The senior guard ended up shooting 6-of-18 on the day, including 3-of-7 from downtown, en route to a game-high 19 points. Snaer also added two assists and two steals.
"For me, it was all about just being the player I know I am and not worrying about everyone else," Snaer said after the game. "Not worrying about too much, just going out there and playing free, playing loose and just play my game.
"It was a rough shooting night for me, but I got to come out [aggressive] every night."
However, the issue that is a lack of rebounding still hasn’t dissipated for the young Seminoles. Maine managed to outrebound FSU 43-42 on the afternoon. In Shannon's absence, White and Snaer were the Seminoles’ two leaders on the boards, combining for a total of 11.
FSU will look to remain on track next Monday, when Louisiana-Monroe comes to town for a 7 p.m. matchup.
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