Florida State upsets No. 5 Florida
Florida came into its Monday game with Florida State averaging a national-best 99.5 points. The Seminoles then forced the Gators in a below-average offensive performance.
Terance Mann scored a game-high 25 points and Florida State dominated the boards as the Seminoles upset No. 5 Florida 83-66 in Gainesville, Fla.
Mann, a junior guard, made 11 of 17 shots from the field as Florida State (7-0) led for most of the game. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
Phil Cofer added a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Seminoles, who pulled away in the second half. They kept dominating on the boards and made a few runs that the Gators couldn’t answer.
“I thought Florida brought the best out of us,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Florida (5-2) simply could not stop Florida State on the boards, especially on the offensive end. The Seminoles finished with a 23-11 edge in offensive boards and scored 24 second-chance points.
Overall, Florida State held a 51-34 advantage in rebounds and controlled the glass throughout the game. The Seminoles also played solid defense, a big reason that the Gators struggled on offense.
Florida State was the better team on offense, scoring 42 in the first half and 41 in the second half while always finding a way to get points at the right time.
“They threw the first three or four punches and continued throwing most of them and connecting on most of them until the final buzzer,” Florida coach Mike White said. “Very disappointing effort. I thought they were tougher than us — for 40 minutes.”
CJ Walker, a sophomore guard, added 17 points for Florida State.
Both teams struggled shooting from the floor but the Seminoles made 20 of 24 (83 percent) from the free-throw line, which helped their cause. The Gators were 18 of 25 (72 percent) at the line.
Florida never found its way offensively, especially on 3-point shots as Florida State rarely allowed open looks.
Florida made only 6 of 25 3-point attempts, a big reason the Gators had trouble rallying. The Gators made only 36.2 percent of their field-goal attempts overall to 38.9 percent for the Seminoles.
Junior guard Jalen Hudson paced Florida with 16 points and was not happy that his team has lost two in a row.
The Gators dropped their previous game to No. 1 Duke 87-84 on Nov. 26.
“Two losses in a row is unacceptable,” Hudson said. “And the way we played tonight is unacceptable. We’ve got to get back to work.”
The Seminoles jumped out to an early 10-1 lead before the Gators responded and made the game close. Florida took a 35-34 lead late in the half before senior forward Cofer helped Florida State bounce back.
Cofer made a jumper and finished an 8-0 run on a dunk with 17 seconds left that gave the Seminoles a 42-35 halftime lead.
Florida State used another eight-point run with help from Walker (six) and Mann (two) for a 56-44 lead early in the second half and were never in trouble again.
NOTES: The No. 5 rating that Florida received in the Associated Press poll on Monday is the first time the Gators have been in the nation’s top five since the end of the 2013-14 season. ... The Gators scored more than 100 points in four of their first six games before struggling on offense in this one. ... This was the 69th meeting between the two schools, and Florida State won its fourth in a row, the first time the Seminoles ever have done that.