JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State scored first and often in the championship game of the Inaugural Jacksonville Classic as it overwhelmed Missouri, 81-58, to win its sixth in-season tournament championship under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles never trailed, led 44-23 at halftime, and increased their lead to 28 in the second half in claiming the win over the Tigers. Florida State was led by Malik Osborne, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and he scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the championship-clinching win.
Anthony Polite led the Seminoles with 14 points on six of nine shooting from the field to go along with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Also in double figures for the Seminoles were Cam’Ron Fletcher with 12 and freshman Matthew Cleveland with 10.
Hamilton played his full complement of 17 players as the Seminoles were playing their second game in as many nights after defeating Loyola Marymount, 73-45, on Sunday. For the Seminoles, 13 players found the scoring column as they shot the ball incredibly well throughout the game.
With 17 Seminoles earning playing time in the championship victory, eight Seminoles scored at least four points. Florida State converted 16 Missouri turnovers into 24 points. The Seminoles outscored Missouri at a 33-21 margin in the paint, while the Seminoles bench outscored Missouri by a 39-12 margin.
Florida State shot .611 from the field (33 of 54), .417 from the 3-point line (10 of 24) and made five of eight free throw attempts in the win. The Seminoles shot .643 in the first half (18 of 28) and .577 in the second half (15 of 26) as the game was never tied and the lead never changed hands after Polite scored the first basket of the game at the 19:29 mark of the first half to give the Seminoles a 3-0 advantage.
The Seminoles were a very giving bunch against Missouri as they were credited with 19 assists on 33 baskets. RayQuan Evans tied his career-high with six assists while Caleb Mills and John Butler accounted for three assists each.
Osborne continued his streak of double digit scoring, this being the fourth time in five games, as he scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Osborne was four of six (.667) from the field and two of three (.667) from the 3-point line.
Cleveland was four of eight from the field and a perfect two of two from the free throw line in reaching double figure scoring for the second consecutive game and the third time in the first five games of his career.
The Seminoles held Missouri off the scoreboard for the first 2:29 of the game before surrendering the Tigers’ first field goals of the game. Florida State steadily increased its lead throughout the half. Florida State led by 10 at the 11:31 mark, by 21 at the 6:41 mark and by 23 at halftime.
Florida State continued its domination to begin the second half. The Seminoles led by at least 20 points throughout much of the second half and took its biggest lead, 28, on a Fletcher jumpshot with 3:57 left to play.
17 Seminoles got playing time in tonight’s game, with eight Seminoles scoring at least four points each. Florida State converted 16 forced turnovers into 24 points. Meanwhile, inside the paint, the Seminoles outscored Missouri by a 33-21 margin, while the Seminoles bench outscored their opponents by a 39-12 margin.
Missouri’s Amari Davis led the Tigers with 14 points.
Florida State gets right back on the court as the play host to Boston University on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The game will be televised by the ACC Network.