Nov. 24, 2011
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
NASSAU, Bahamas — The No. 20/22 Florida State men’s basketball team’s defense doesn’t care about national borders and isn’t distracted by holidays.
They just play. And play well.
The Seminoles (5-0) defeated UMass, 73-53, Thursday in their opening game at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Like they’ve done in four wins prior to their Thanksgiving game, it was the defense that set the tone.
Four days after South Alabama missed all 24 of its 3-point attempts against the ‘Noles, UMass (4-1) didn’t fare much better. The Minutemen, who had defeated Boston College 82-46 a few days ago, were just 2-for-23 from long distance and shot 27.9 percent from the field.
No starter scored in double figures for UMass and FSU forced 22 turnovers while registering nine blocks and 14 steals.
Junior Michael Snaer posted his first double-double of the young season with 18 points and 11 rebounds for a Seminoles team that struggled offensively at the Atlantis Resort. FSU finished the night shooting 35.1 percent from the field but nabbed 15 offensive rebounds.
Luke Loucks scored 12 points and Okaro White added 11 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double this year. Bernard James recorded nine points, five blocks and seven rebounds and Xavier Gibson had six points and seven boards.
Terrance Shannon came off the bench to contribute eight points.
Florida State, which outrebounced UMass 47 to 35, jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game before the Minutemen stormed back and took a 21-20 lead with 5:11 left to play in the first half.
But the ‘Noles concluded the opening half on a 9-0 run to take a 36-25 advantage into the halftime break and then withstood UMass’ full-court press in the second frame to remain undefeated.
FSU now plays Harvard in the semifinals Friday at 4:30 p.m. after the Crimson defeated Utah 75-47 in their Battle 4 Atlantis opener. The game will air live on the Versus network.