Nov. 8, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
A strong defensive performance led to plenty of offensive opportunities as the Florida State University men’s basketball prevailed in an 83-68 exhibition win over Global Sports All-Stars on Saturday (November 8). Three different Seminoles reached double figures in the scoring department with every player scoring at least two points.
Leading the way offensively for the Tribe was junior Anthony Richardson (Raleigh, N.C.) as he led all scorers with 19 points. Just two points behind Richardson was senior guard Nate Johnson (Kansas City, Mo.) as he added 17 markers, including a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range.
“We really needed to play against somebody else, somebody who will give us a chance to see how the things we’re working in practice are working against another team,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We saw some areas where obviously we’ve improved in. We’re trying to get a little more depth, we’re trying to get the rotation down so that we can utilize the talent we have.’
Many of Florida State’s baskets came in transition thanks to a stifling defense that limited Global Sports to just 35.8 percent shooting (24-of-67). The Tribe stepped up the defense even more behind the arc, holding the visitors to 6-of-26 (23.1 percent). Florida State’s defense also forced Global Sports into 15 turnovers.
The strong defense was key for the Seminoles during the midway point of the first half when the hosts made their run to take the lead. Holding onto a 20-19 advantage with 13:07 remaining in the stanza, the Seminoles kept Global Sports off the scoreboard for nearly six minutes as the one-point margin turned into a 12-point gap (31-19).
During that stretch, Michael Joiner (Fayetteville, N.C.) scored six of his eight points and freshman guard Von Wafer (Homer, La.) nailed a three-pointer to cap the run. Playing in his first collegiate game, Wafer was third on the squad with 14 points off 6-of-9 shooting. Fellow rookie Alexander Johnson (Albany, Ga.) also chipped in with six points and tied for the team lead for five rebounds.
Even though he didn’t reach double figures, senior guard Tim Pickett (Daytona Beach, Fla.) had a solid all-around game. The preseason All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection scored just four points, but dished out a game-high six assists to go along with five boards and one steal.
After Florida State established the double-digit lead, the margin only dipped below ten points once the remainder of the first half. The Seminoles went into the locker room with their largest advantage of the day when Joiner hit a lay-up with 38 seconds remaining to put FSU up 51-30 at the break.
“Overall it was a good start. I like the attitude of our players, the unselfish play,” Hamilton noted. “We had a few too many turnovers in the second half, but a lot of that had to do with getting good looks on the first pass and not making the same decisions we did in the first half.”
Most of the second half saw the Tribe play the same strong defense as their lead only dropped down to ten points on three different occasions. With 3:28 remaining, Global Sports pulled to within 75-65 on a three-pointer by Calvin Warner, but the Seminoles only surrendered three points the rest of the way.
Florida State plays its final exhibition contest on Monday, November 17, when it takes on Team Nike at 7 p.m. in the Leon County Civic Center. The season begins official at home on November 21 against Maine.