December 31, 2019 / 7:42 PM / a month ago

No. 18 Florida State surges late to put away Georgia Tech

EditorsNote: corrects spelling of RaiQuan in second graf, fixes Louisville ranking in last graf

Dec 31, 2019; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles center Balsa Koprivica (5) tips in a shot during the first half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 Florida State pulled away for a 70-58 win over visiting Georgia Tech on Tuesday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla., helped by a flagrant foul on the Yellow Jackets’ Jordan Usher.

The Seminoles were leading 48-45 when Usher fouled Anthony Polite as he went up for a dunk. Polite made two free throws at the 10:03 mark and RaiQuan Gray added a layup 13 seconds later to fuel a 12-5 run as FSU built its lead to double digits for the first time.

Florida State (12-2, 2-1 ACC) was led by Devin Vassell’s 14 points, while Patrick Williams added 12. The Seminoles outscored Tech 29-3 off the bench.

Michael Devoe led Georgia Tech (6-7, 1-2) with 19 points, while Moses Wright added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Usher scored 11, including a three-point play with 2:42 to go that brought the Yellow Jackets within 65-56, but Polite answered with a 3-pointer.

The Seminoles, averaging 18.3 forced turnovers per game, tagged the Yellow Jackets with 20, scoring 14 points off those miscues.

Dominik Olejniczak gave the Seminoles a boost off the bench with his hook shot as he scored seven of his nine points in the first half. His minutes increased when freshman Balsa Koprivica took a hard fall on a tip-in under his own basket at the 13:58 mark of the first half and did not return.

Georgia Tech never trailed by more than five points until Usher’s flagrant foul as the Jackets were aggressive on the boards and made it tough for FSU to get into its offensive sets.

Florida State’s defense made its mark early as the Yellow Jackets started 3 of 12 from the floor with six turnovers in the first eight minutes.

Neither team was able to take control. Florida State grabbed the biggest lead of the first 20 minutes on a hook shot by Olejniczak that gave the Seminoles a 13-9 lead with 12:39 remaining.

Florida State played without guard M.J. Walker due to a hip injury that he suffered against North Alabama on Saturday.

The Seminoles travel to No. 7 Louisville on Saturday while the Yellow Jackets stay on the road with a Saturday afternoon encounter with North Carolina.

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