Nov. 11, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State men’s basketball team opened its 2011-12 season Friday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center in much the same way that it played last year during a run to the Sweet 16.
FSU picked up right where it left off late last March with a strong defensive performance in a 79-67 win over Jacksonville — save a few sloppy final minutes against the Dolphins.
JU (0-1) didn’t score a basket until 14:50 left in the first half and never recovered on the scoreboard despite a late-game rally. FSU — the nation’s leader the last two seasons in defensive field goal percentage — held Jacksonville to 36.4-percent shooting in the first half but that mark increased to 42.4 percent for the game because of the visitors’ 20-10 run after the ‘Noles had built their largest lead of the night (22) with 7:49 remaining on the clock.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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“We are going to get most team’s best shot,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I am happy to come away with the victory. I will look at the film and see the areas where we need to improve.”
It wasn’t all defense Friday night, though. The Seminoles (1-0) showed off their impressive depth as the bench was responsible for 42 points. In contrast, Jacksonville’s reserve players registered just six.
Starters Deividas Dulkys and Michael Snaer posted 16 points apiece and backup forward Terrance Shannon’s career highs in both points (15) and rebounds (12) were enough to give him the first double-double of his career.
“Terrance was a guy tonight that I thought gave us all the hustle baskets,” Hamilton said.
Bernard James was limited to just one point but Hamilton revealed in his post-game press conference that the senior star, who played just 15 minutes, tweaked his ankle earlier in the week and “was not himself.”
With James hitting one free throw, each player that stepped on the court Friday night scored for the Seminoles.
“I said at the beginning of the year that we would win games by committee,” Hamilton said.
As a team, the ‘Noles shot 47 percent from 3-point range. Dulkys was 4-for-7 from behind the arc and Snaer was 2-for-3. FSU committed 15 turnovers to Jacksonville’s 16 and out-rebounded its opponent 39 to 35.
The Seminoles, who went into halftime up 44-31, are now 10-0 under Hamilton in season-opening ballgames.
Florida State returns to its home court Monday night for another in-state matchup; this time against UCF. The Seminoles and Knights will tip-off at 7 p.m. and the game will air live online at ESPN3.com.