November 12, 2006 - by
Seminoles Top McNeese St., 85-65, in Opening Round of Colonial Classic

Nov. 12, 2006

Box Score
Download Free Acrobat Reader

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)Al Thornton scored 17 points and Uche Echefu added 14 Sunday night as Florida State defeated McNeese (La.) State 85-65 at the opening round of the Colonial Classic in the first game of the year for both schools.

In the first game of the three-day round robin, Southern Methodist defeated Illinois State 57-55 on Devon Pearson’s tip-in on a missed shot as the buzzer sounded. It was also the first game of the year for them.

The Seminoles wiped out an early 11-point deficit and led by as many as 26 points in the second half.

Echefu’s successive 3-point baskets five minutes into the second half gave Florida State a 45-39 lead to spark a second half runaway.

McNeese, from the Southland Conference, jumped off to a 14-4 lead and built its advantage to 24-13 with 8:32 left in the half on Rorey Lawrence’s 3-point shot.

John Ford led the Cowboys with 19 points while Lawrence and Aldryan Wardell each scored 11. Wardell also had a game best eight rebounds.

Florida State, which was left out of last season’s NCAA tournament despite a 20-10 record, didn’t catch up until 1:28 left in the half on two Ralph Mims free throws.

Jason Rich’s short jumper with 26 seconds left in the half gave Florida State a 36-35 lead at the break.

Rich and Toney Douglas, a transfer from Auburn, scored 12 points apiece for the Seminole, who shot 53.3 percent from the floor despite a terrible start.

The Seminoles started ice cold, scoring just four points in the game’s first eight minutes.

Florida State meets Illinois State following the SMU-McNeese game in Monday’s second round.

Related Articles