Nov. 24, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Devon Bookert hit a 10-foot fade away jumper off a missed layup with 0.5 seconds to give Florida State a dramatic 62-60 win over Northeastern in the third place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Sunday.
“I was just there and able to make a play,” Bookert said. “God blessed me with that opportunity and it went in.”
Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton got off a desperation 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer, but it bounced harmlessly off the backboard.
The Seminoles (5-1) trailed the entire way before taking their first lead of the game with just under 14 minutes left in the game, then had to fight several final charges by the Huskies (2-4).
Eatherton finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds, his third double-double of the tournament. Reggie Spencer and David Walker each added 13 points.
Florida State took its first lead of the game at 13:43 on a basket by Robert Gilchrist that made it 41-39.
But the Huskies kept attacking the Seminoles’ pressure and got a dunk by Derrico Peck to nudge back in front 50-46 with 7:32 remaining.
It stretched out to 58-52, but Florida State soon lost Okaro Whitet o his fifth foul at the 2:33 mark.
The Huskies took advantage and cut the lead to a basket on their next trip down the floor on another dunk by Peck. They then tied it at 58 in on a pair of free throws by Eatherton with just over a minute to play.
Florida State called timeout and took the shot clock down before getting Miller free for a short jumper. It rolled out, but Brandon was there for the tip to put the Seminoles back up.
Walker was fouled on the subsequent inbounds play and then tied it again with two free throws to set up Florida State’s final possession. Northeastern led 28-28 at the half in pretty even opening 20 minutes that featured a pair of ties.
Scoring was spread out on both sides, with Eatherton leading all scorers with 10 points.
The Huskies also held a 20-18 rebounding edge over the Seminoles. Both teams also shot nearly identical percentages from the field. Northeastern connected on 41 percent of its attempts, and Florida State 42 percent.
Northeastern did have to play a chunk of the half without Peck, who was forced to the bench with his third foul after just eight minutes of action.
FSU coach Leonard Hamilton post-game quotes:
“For most of the game Northeastern out-played us. They had a tremendous game plan, they were patient, they executed very well. They were energized and played with tremendous focus. For the majority of the game they probably out-played us. We were very fortunate to win the game at the end. These are the kind of games you look back at the end of the season and say, `wow.’ This is a very, very good team. They’re going to give a lot of folks a lot of problems; you can ask Georgetown about that. So we were very fortunate to find a way to win there at the end. The game could have gone either way.”
“We didn’t seem to have an answer for their big guy (Scott Eatherton). He was very smart in how he played and he was very energized; he might have had six offensive rebounds the first half. We didn’t do a very good job. Our guys would rotate over to try to catch one of their penetrating guards and he would just crash the glass. None of our guards were picking him up on the outside. That’s a very smart headed player who is taking advantage of the opportunities that are available. For the most part, a team like this, we were very fortunate we were able to make the adjustments. When you run into a big guy who is as mobile and agile as Eatherton, sometimes it negates our size and we have to go with a smaller lineup. He was a little too quick for our two seven footers.”
“You’ve got to give these guys credit…they did a great job and had a great game plan. We were just fortunate to have the ball in our hands with the clock running down. Whoever had that ball with the clock running down probably was going to have a chance to win.”
“We haven’t been out-rebounding people all that much. I’ve said all along, I think we’re a work in progress. I think we’ve got potential that we could be a pretty good basketball team, but we have not been as consistent as we need to.”
“The game could’ve gone either way. Northeastern is a high-caliber team. I don’t know who they’ve lost to, but I know they played awful well down here. If they continue to play throughout the year as well as they’ve played in this tournament, somebody’s in for a handful. I can guarantee you that.”
“We could not have had a better situation in Puerto Rico, other than I would have loved to play in the Championship game. I don’t think we could have asked for better competition to get us ready for our conference race.”