LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Seminoles.com) – RaiQuan Gray led the Seminoles to their fourth consecutive win against the Cardinals with 17 points and eight rebounds as FSU took down Louisville on the road once again, 78-65, on Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center. The Seminoles move to 8-2 (4-1 ACC) on the season and the Cardinals are 9-3 (4-2 ACC).
Gray had an outstanding all-around performance, adding eight rebounds and two assists to go along with his 7-of-12 shooting night. Florida State was efficient from the floor and handled Louisville’s pressure with ease all game, shooting 50 percent (31-of-62) overall. FSU was also strong from beyond the arc, going 9-of-21 (42.9 percent) while Louisville shot just 25 percent (4-of-16) from downtown.
FSU’s impressive bench helped get the job done against the Cardinals, out-scoring the opposition 29-7. Malik Osborne (12 points) and Scottie Barnes (10 points) both scored in double figures off the bench. Osborne added a Sportscenter Top 10-worthy play with 7:50 left in the game when he posterized a Louisville defender with a thunderous right-handed jam, making it 67-50 FSU.
The Seminoles got off to a double-digit lead early in the game when a Barnes 3-point field goal made it 17-7 with 14:29 remaining in the first half. The lead would swell to 24 points (40-16) on an old-fashioned three-point play from Osborne with 4:38 left in the first half. FSU would take a 42-28 lead into halftime after shooting 53.3 percent overall as well as from beyond the arc (8-of-13).
Wyatt Wilkes got the start nod and made a big difference in just over 16 minutes of action, scoring 13 points and adding three rebounds and two steals. RayQuan Evans chipped in with 11 points.
Despite Louisville taking a 12-2 run into the break and cutting the deficit to 14, FSU would not let the game get too much closer. The Cardinals cut their deficit to eight points with 11:34 remaining on a made free throw, but that is as close as they would get for the remainder. Over the next five minutes FSU would use a 12-2 run punctuated by a layup from Gray to take a commanding 69-51 lead with 6:27 left.
M.J. Walker, entering the game as the team’s leading scorer, proved how versatile his game really is vs. Louisville. He doubled his career high with 10 assists on the night, helping FSU assist on 19 of its 31 made field goals.
Carlik Jones led three other Cardinals in double-figure scoring by totaling 17 points. Louisville’s Jae’Lyn Withers played a big role too, leading the team with nine rebounds and contributing 14 points.
In a five-day stretch, FSU has played some of its most impressive basketball. It routed NC State, 105-73, on Jan. 13. The Seminoles then defeated North Carolina, 82-75, on Saturday followed by Monday’s quick turn-around win over the Cardinals.
The Seminoles host rival Clemson at the Donald L. Tucker Center this Saturday at 3 p.m. in a game that will air on ABC.