Florida State dropped its first matchup with a ranked opponent tonight, as the Seminoles fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 77-68.
The first half was particularly rough for FSU, as the Seminoles shot just over 32 percent from the floor and dug themselves into a 38-25 hole that proved too deep to dig themselves out of, despite a strong second half.
“I think we allowed those early misses to affect our energy and our focus,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said after the game. “Overall, I thought that Minnesota just played with a lot more fire. They were more aggressive.
“We got beat by a better team tonight.”
FSU outscored Minnesota in the final 20 minutes, 43-42. The Seminoles also increased their shooting percentage to 43.3 percent in the second half.
“We did have some good looks in the first half and as a coach, you know if you keep getting those good shots, they’re going to start falling,” Hamilton said.
Surprisingly, FSU held its own on the boards, even though it felt as though the Seminoles were getting abused in the category all night long. FSU won the battle on the boards by a narrow margin, grabbing 35 rebounds compared to Minnesota’s 34.
Despite early struggles for the Seminoles, nationally renowned Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith said he likes what he saw from FSU from a basketball perspective.
“I think they’re going to develop into a very good team,” Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith said. “I think they’re going to be an outstanding team. I know they’re going to be a very good team.
FSU forward Okaro White was not pleased with his or his team's performance.
“Just like all of Leonard Hamilton’s teams, they’ll be ready to play.”
However, Hamilton added that although his team is growing as a unit, they still need to find ways to win when it’s all said and done.
“We need to not lose games while we’re developing – that’s the challenge we have now,” Hamilton said.
FSU now turns its attention to Mercer for an afternoon meeting at 2 p.m. this Sunday on the Seminoles’ home floor.
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