November 26, 2002 - by
Seminoles Host Mercer Wednesday Night

Nov. 26, 2002

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State, which opened the Leonard Hamilton era with a victory over Savannah State Sunday, plays host to Mercer in its second non-conference game of the season. The Seminoles have won nine of their last 12 season openers and will look to improve to 2-0 for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Florida State defeated Rice (65-53) and Loyola College of Maryland (89-72) in winning its first two games of the season, engineering an 18-14 record and earning the school’s 10th NCAA Tournament birth that season. Following Wednesday night’s game, the Seminoles play host to Iowa in the first game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Dec. 2 at 9 p.m.


IMPORTANT TO WIN THE EARLY ONES
Florida State won its season opener for the ninth time in the last 12 years as it defeated Savannah State, 79-46, Sunday. The Seminoles are now 44-12 all-time in 56 season openers dating to the first season of basketball in Tallahassee, 1947-48. Florida State has won its first two games 31 times during the history of the program. During the history of the program, eight of the ten years Florida State has won at least its first two games, the Seminoles played in the NCAA Tournament.


A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STAT SHEET AGAINST SAVANNAH STATE
Florida State defeated Savannah State, 79-46, in its season opener Sunday and posted some strong statistical numbers in gaining the victory. Led by point guard Nate Johnson and Todd Galloway’s four assists each, the Seminoles totaled 18 assists as a team. Florida State reached the 18-assists plateau only four times in 29 games last season. In addition, bolstered by Anthony Richardson’s three blocked shots, the Seminoles blocked a total of eight Tigers attempts at the basket. A year ago, Florida State averaged 3.5 blocked shots per game and blocked eight or more shots in a game only three times. Junior Tim Picket was credited with six steals to help the Seminoles earn 16 during Sunday’s victory. The Seminoles averaged 7.7 steals per game last season, reached double figures in steals only eight times and recorded a season-high 12steals in wins against Birmingham Southern (Dec. 4) and North Carolina (16).


Breaking Down The Stats In The Season Opener
Period Assists Blocked Shots Steals

vs. Savannah State 18 8 16
2001-02 Season 13.1 apg 3.5 bpg 7.7 spg
Improvement +4.9 +4.5 +8.3


LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Improve to 2-0 with a victory over Mercer. It would mark the first time since the 1997-98 season the Seminoles have won their first two games of a season;
…Allow Leonard Hamilton to become the seventh head coach in school history to win his first two games as the Seminoles head coach. He would join each of the school’s six pervious coaches who have won their first two games as Florida State’s head coach;
…Defeat Mercer for the seventh consecutive time. The Seminoles and Bears have not met since the 1991-92 season met only once during the decade of the 1990’s.

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