MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Freshman M.J. Walker scored 22 points and junior Terance Mann added 20 to lead Florida State to a 90-73 victory over Colorado State in the championship game of the inaugural Jamaica Classic at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. Walker made five 3-point shots and was a perfect three-of-three from the free throw line as Florida State ran its record to 3-0 on the season.
The Seminoles outscored the Rams by a 42-23 margin in the final 15:11 of the game to gain the win.
“I was pleased that these games (at the Jamaica Classic) gave us things that we can learn about ourselves,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “This team (Colorado State) showed us a Virginia-type defense where you really have to think and I think that challenged our inexperience.”
Colorado State, which trailed by a 47-36 margin at the break, outscored the Seminoles by a 14-1 score to open the second half. The early blitz by Colorado State gave the Rams a 50-48 lead with 15:11 remaining.
Florida State then righted itself and outscored the Rams by an 8-4 margin over the next 3:30 to take a 56-50 lead. Senior Brian Angola scored two baskets, Mann one and Walker one as the Seminoles took the lead for good.
The Seminoles extended their lead to 70-61 with 7:49 left and were comfortably ahead by an 80-67 margin with 3:32 left in the game.
Walker, playing in only his third career game, scored 14 points in the first half on four made 3-point shots and a free throw. He began his hot-shooting game at the 13:29 mark to put the Seminoles up 15-13. He extended FSU’s lead three more times in the first half including 30-21 on two long range shots within 1:38 of each other.
“Our defensive effort and execution stayed strong,” Hamilton said. “These types of games allow you to grow a little bit faster.”