Dec. 5, 2012
By: Brandon Mellor (@BrandonMellor), Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Focused on bouncing back in the wake of consecutive losses, the Florida State men’s basketball team found an opponent in No. 5 Florida Wednesday night that was unwilling — and unrelenting — in its own quest to not let that happen.
In a 72-47 loss to the Gators at the Donald L. Tucker Center, the same issue that has plagued FSU (4-4) through the early part of the 2012-13 reared its ugly head: the Seminoles simply couldn’t get balanced production from its still-meshing group of key veterans and up-and-coming youngsters.
That problem ultimately led to single-digit losses to South Alabama, Minnesota and Mercer already this year but upstart UF only exacerbated that issue with its depth, balance and size in the paint in the blowout victory.
When the dust settled on the ‘Noles’ lowest scoring effort ever at the Tucker Center, the Gators loaded the bus back to Gainesville with a points-in-the-paint advantage of 34-14 and a fast-break-points advantage of 12-0.
UF also scored 32 points off the Seminoles’ 22 turnovers and ware able to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field. On the flip side, FSU registered just eight points off Florida’s 15 giveaways andshot 34.8 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from 3-point range.
“Tonight I thought we ran into one of the better teams that we’ve played since I’ve been at Florida State,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I thought Florida executed extremely well offensively. They kept executing their offense until we found one of players who made a mistake and they capitalized it seemed on every mistake we made early in the game. I thought that we kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Michael Snaer led FSU with 10 points but didn’t register his first basket until the 12:34 mark of the second half. Devon Bookert and Okaro White added nine points apiece and Aaron Thomas and Ian Miller combined for 10 points.
FSU had just seven assists as a team.
That Gators had four players score in double figures, with Mike Rosario and Kenny Boynton each scoring 14 points. Michael Frazier and Patric Young posted 12 and 10 points, respectively, andYoung finished with a game’s-best eight rebounds.
Florida jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and never looked back after building a 35-15 lead.
The setback was FSU’s fourth loss of the year at home, which marks the first time since the 2004-05 season that the ‘Noles have lost at least four home games in an entire season.
“Late in the game I turned to my assistants and I said ‘Can we really be this bad?'” Hamilton said. “I remember the Clemson game last year and Clemson was kind of having their way with us and we were not responding very well. That’s kind of the feeling I had tonight. Two weeks ago when we were in New York I felt like we were on top of our game. I told our kids in the locker room that physically we’re the same guys, but mentally and emotionally, for whatever reason, we are not performing with the same level of confidence.”
FSU will now try to regroup with a 4 p.m. game at the Tucker Center against Maine Sunday at 4 p.m.