Nov. 30, 2011
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
EAST LANSING, Mich. — It may have been different weather and a different country, but the result was the same for the Florida State men’s basketball team.
Four days after falling to No. 4 UConn, 78-76, in overtime in the Bahamas, the Seminoles lost a hard-fought game to Michigan State, 65-49, Wednesday night in East Lansing, Mich.
The ‘Noles (5-3) traded sand for snow before playing in this year’s edition of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and didn’t forget to pack their defense for the trip north. FSU held the Spartans (5-2) to their second-lowest points output this season.
But as has been the issue in what is now a three-game losing streak, the Seminoles have struggled on the offensive end of the basketball court and have failed to get to the free-throw line on a consistent basis.
Against Michigan State, FSU turned the ball over 18 times and only had a season-low six opportunities from the free-throw line. The Spartans, on the other hand, gave the ball away 12 times and finished 15-of-20 from the charity stripe.
Bernard James posted a double-double, scoring13 points — 11 of which came in the first half — and grabbing 12 rebounds. He also blocked three shots and took just two free throws.
Despite the defense’s best efforts, the Spartans got a career-high 24 points from guard Keith Appling. Brandon Wood and Draymond Gibson also contributed 26 points apiece for the home team and Michigan State shot 40 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range.
FSU finished the evening with a shooting mark of 39 percent.
The ‘Noles trailed by as many as eight points five minutes into the second half before tying the ballgame at 38-38 after two John Kreft free-throws with 12:12 left to play. White’s lay-up off a Kreft assist then gave FSU its first lead since it was a 9-6 score a few minutes into the contest.
But MSU answered with a 10-2 run thanks to a Seminoles’ scoring drought that lasted nearly six minutes and never looked back.
Michigan State lead 30-26 at halftime following an 8-0 run by Florida State to close out the first half.
The ‘Noles now return home for a Dec. 5 game against Charleston Southern at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPNU.