EditorsNote: Edit 1: Style fixes in fifth graf
No. 22 Florida State rallied from 10 points down in the second half, forced overtime and ultimately prevailed against No. 16 Louisville on Saturday, emerging with an 80-75 win in Tallahassee, Fla.
Near the end of regulation with Florida State behind 65-63, Seminoles guard Trent Forrest tied the game at 65-65 with 34 seconds remaining on a layup, then Louisville missed a potential game-winner with four seconds left.
A long rebound was corralled by Florida State forward Phi Cofer, who raced down the court and nearly won the game in a regulation with a long jump shot at the buzzer that was just off the mark.
In overtime, the Cardinals missed their first four shots and Florida State hit its first four buckets, racing out to a 73-65 edge and never looked back.
Florida State (18-5, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) was led by 22 points from forward Mfiondu Kabengele, who added a team-high seven rebounds in the win. Kabengele was also a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line, while guard Terance Mann added 20 points and went a clutch 5-of-6 from the foul stripe in overtime.
The Cardinals surged to their biggest lead of the game, 52-42, with just over 10 minutes to play on back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers by guard Ryan McMahon, who didn’t score again after that and finished with nine points.
Louisville guard Christen Cunningham led the No. 16 Cardinals (17-7, 8-3) with 20 points and seven boards. Louisville forward Dwayne Sutton added 14 points in the loss and forward Jordan Nwora chipped in 13 points.
Forrest notched 15 points for Florida State and fellow guard M.J. Walker added 11 points, including two game-sealing free throws with 4 seconds remaining.
Louisville, which took a 31-25 lead to halftime after leading by as many as nine points early on, benefited from a poor start by Florida State.
The Seminoles went scoreless for the first five minutes after tip-off, although they only fell behind 5-0. Mann finally put the Seminoles on the board and ended the drought with a 3-pointer at the 14:48 mark.
With just over 10 minutes left in the first half, the Seminoles earned their first lead 17-14 on a deep three by Kabengele that brought a sold-out crowd at the Tucker Center to their feet.
But the Cardinals ended the opening half on a 17-8 run, and Florida State was lucky to only be down by six points at the buzzer after shooting 29 percent from the floor in the first half, compared to 48 percent by Louisville.
Louisville failed to send Seminole fans broken-hearted for the second straight season. Last year, the Cardinals ended Florida State’s 28-game home winning streak with a road win at the Tucker Center. The Cardinals still, however, lead the all-time series 34-12, despite Saturday’s loss.
The Cardinals return home and will host a whopper of a showdown Tuesday when No. 2 Duke comes to town. Florida State, meanwhile, will remain home to host Wake Forest on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media