Dec. 9, 2012
By: Brandon Mellor (@BrandonMellor), Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State men’s basketball team has officially returned to the win column.
FSU (5-4) made its triumphant return there Sunday evening with a convincing 91-59 victory over visiting Maine to successfully halt a three-game losing streak while also showing significant improvement in the multitude of areas that had plagued the ‘Noles since the team’s last win Nov. 21 against North Florida.
“It’s definitely important for us to come out here and get a win and get that feeling back,” sophomore guard Terry Whisnant II said.
While turning back the Black Bears (3-6), the Seminoles showed the ability to share the basketball, protect the basketball and take away the basketball.
A game after Michael Snaer’s 10 points were the team’s best in a loss to No. 5 Florida, Snaer once again led scoring with 19 against Maine but he wasn’t the only Seminole to shoot for double figures. Playing significant minutes because of an injury to Ian Miller, freshman guard Aaron Thomas poured in a career-high 15 points while Whisnant added 14. Okaro White chipped in for 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds as well.
The 16-to-7 assist-to-turnover ratio was quite the improvement after Florida State managed a 7-to-22 mark in the loss to the Gators. The seven turnovers against the Black Bears were a season low for FSU and only one of them occurred in the second half.
“This team will perform better when we are creating for each other and tonight I thought we showed signs of getting in the lane and finding people,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “That’s part of being aggressive as well.”
On the defensive end, the ‘Noles forced 19 Maine turnovers and posted 23 points off those takeaways. Florida State finished the ballgame at the Donald L Tucker Center with nine steals and seven blocks as Maine’s 56 points were a season low for an FSU opponent.
Justin Edwards led the Black Bears in points (19), rebounds (5) and assists (12).
“I thought our effort was a lot better for the majority of the game,” Hamilton said. “On the defensive end especially I thought they we were very active.”
The Seminoles led 41-27 at halftime before racing to a 59-38 lead on Thomas’ lay-up with 12:16 left in the game and never looked back.
FSU’s attention now shifts to finals week on campus. The ‘Noles’ next game is Monday, Dec. 17 at home against Louisiana-Monroe at 7 p.m.