April 2, 2014
NEW YORK, N.Y. (Seminoles.com) — The Florida State men’s basketball team’s season ended with a 67-64 overtime loss to Minnesota Tuesday night in the NIT semifinal round at historic Madison Square Garden.
The Seminoles’ (22-14) year may be over but they didn’t go down without a fight, thanks to a valiant comeback effort in the Big Apple. Despite trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half, FSU chipped away at that deficit and Devon Bookert‘s 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.
But in the extra period the Gophers’ (24-13) made seven of their 16 total free throws and the Seminoles were held to just one free throw and one field goal. Ian Miller‘s potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the back of the rim as time — and the `Noles’ season — expired.
Both teams played some bonus basketball because of a thrilling final four minutes of regulation play.
After Okaro White‘s two free throws gave the `Noles their first lead of the night at 51-50 with 4:10 on the game clock, Minnesota retaliated with back-to-back layups before Boris Bojanovsky snagged an offensive rebound and put back a score to make it a 54-53 game in favor of the Gophers.
Then trailing 60-55 with 21 seconds left after trading free throws for two Bookert lay-ups, White’s intentional foul on Malik Smith then resulted in two missed free throws for the Gophers. White then secured the defensive rebound, flipped the ball to Bookert and the speedy point guard raced down the court and hit the overtime-forcing 3-pointer.
Bookert finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Playing in their last collegiate contest, White and Miller each scored 16 points with the former contributing a double-double with 12 points.
`Noles star sophomore Aaron Thomas was just 1-of-8 from the field for four points before fouling out late in the game.
The Seminoles hot 38.5 percent from the field and Minnesota was 38.9 percent. Hollins and Mathieu both scored 17 points to help set up an NIT finals matchup with SMU, who beat Clemson earlier in the night.
FSU won the rebounding battle 40-33 but had 18 turnovers to the Gophers’ 11.