Nov. 12, 2012
Okaro White wasn’t the leading scorer for the Seminoles Monday night but he was the most efficient, finishing 5-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2 from the 3-point line for 13 points.
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Three nights after a stunning season-opening loss to visiting South Alabama, the Florida State men’s basketball team answered with a 95-68 win over Buffalo Monday evening at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles (1-1) will now continue the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament that started with Friday’s loss with a Thursday game at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y against BYU at 7 p.m. FSU will then play Notre Dame or St. Joseph’s Friday with all games airing live on truTV.
Against the Bulls, FSU pulled away with an 8-0 run in the early moments to lead 18-6 and never trailed in the ballgame. But after taking a 47-30 lead into halftime, Buffalo wouldn’t quite go away.
The Bulls pulled to within a 66-58 score midway through the second half before a Kiel Turpin free throw and Montay Brandon dunk put the ‘Noles back on top by double digits. The Seminoles closed out the game on a 31-12 run.
“I thought our team played with a tremendous amount of energy tonight," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I loved our body language."
Senior leader Michael Snaer led all players with 19 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range while Okaro White’s 2-for-2 shooting from long range was part of a night that saw him finis a perfect 5-for-5 from the field foe 13 points.
Freshman Aaron Thomas added 10 points for an FSU team that shot 59.6 percent from the field.Terrance Shannon and Terry Whisnant II had nine points apiece and Brandon finished with eight. After not playing in the opener, freshman point guard Devon Bookert made his collegiate debut off the bench and finished with three points.
Fourteen players competed for the Seminoles Monday night and all but two of them scored n the 95-points effort. To put that total in to perspective, FSU scored at least 90 points just once a season ago.
But just like last year when the Hamilton-led ‘Noles earned the program’s first conference title thanks in large part to a stifling defense, flashes of that same mentality showed against Buffalo — despite the loss of six players from that championship squad and the breaking in of a host of newcomers.
“I think you can see that we have some young guys with potential that will develop into pretty good players if we keep working hard and playing together as a team," Hamilton said. "As a coach, it’s obvious to me that we have a long way to go. We still have the making of a pretty good team, but right now we are a team that is young, inexperienced and talented with a lot of different areas where we need to improve.”
Buffalo was able to shoot 50 percent from the field but was forced into to committing 25 turnovers behind 12 FSU steals. The Seminoles scored 34 points off those giveaways.
Both teams finished with 38 points apiece in the paint but FSU won the battle of the benches with its reserves outscoring the Bulls’ 42-24.
FSU had 27 rebounds to Buffalo’s 28.