Another poor rebounding effort led to another lopsided loss for the Florida State men's basketball team.
FSU got dominated in the paint.
The Seminoles were more than doubled-up on the boards and allowed three N.C. State players to score in double-figures in an ugly, 84-66 defeat to the Wolfpack at PNC Arena.
“I thought we got manhandled in every area that required energy and physicality,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I was extremely disappointed in how we can go from one game, playing extremely aggressive, to another game being somewhat passive.”
Facing a Wolfpack team that features the conference's top rebounder, Richard Howell, rebounding always figured to be a challenge. But FSU (14-12, 6-7 in the ACC) could hardly compete on the glass on Tuesday night. And Howell, surprisingly, didn't play a huge role in it.
N.C. State (19-7, 8-5) out-rebounded FSU 39-18. The Wolfpack had as many offensive rebounds – 18 – as Florida State had total.
And the Wolfpack's T.J. Warren (13 rebounds) and C.J. Leslie (10) out-rebounded the Seminoles by themselves.
“They just went after the balls. And they reached and we jumped,” Hamilton said. “And I thought they were much more aggressive.”
Warren proved especially troublesome for FSU. In addition to his dominance on the glass, the 6-8 freshman scored 31 points, shot 12-of-15 from the field and was perfect at the free throw line (5-5) and from 3-point range (2-2).
C.J. Leslie added 19 points and Scott Wood contributed 13, nine of which came from beyond the arc.
N.C. State made 5 of its 9 3-point attempts.
“I just don't think we defended certain spots on the floor,” Hamilton said. “And we knew that's where they were going with it.”
N.C. State took a 40-30 lead into halftime and quickly extended its advantage to 15 early in the second half.
Every time the Seminoles flirted with striking distance – as they did with a small run that cut their deficit to 10 with less than seven minutes to go – N.C. State responded with an offensive outburst the stretched the gap even further.
After FSU threatened to get back in the game, the Wolfpack responded with an 8-2 run and eventually led by 21 with just over a minute to go.
“We were right there,” Hamilton said. “They kept giving us opportunities that we wouldn't take advantage of.”