In need of a win to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive, Florida State used a big second half to beat Pittsburgh 88-75 on Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida State (19-8, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) got the win despite being without the services in the first half of leading scorer Terance Mann and third-leading scorer Braian Angola. Neither started the game, per a “coach’s decision” by Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton.
Mann and Angola played in the second half and provided an emotional spark as the Seminoles turned a 39-38 halftime deficit into a 13-point win.
Mann and Angola didn’t contribute much on the stat sheet — just four points from Mann and none from Angola — but several Florida State stepped up in their absence.
The Seminoles were led by 18 points from guard P.J. Savoy, who started for the first time all year. Savoy finished 5 of 7 from 3-point range, while freshman guard MJ Walker and forward Phil Cofer each dropped 14 points.
Pitt (8-19, 0-15) took its 15th consecutive loss, the longest skid in school history.
The Panthers, however, still dominate the all-time series 12-4 against the Seminoles.
Pitt was paced by 17 points each from forward Jared Wilson-Frame and guard Shamiel Stevenson. Guard Parker Stewart added 16 points in the loss, and Stevenson pulled down a team-high five rebounds. Panthers guard Jonathan Milligan rounded out the team’s double-figure scorers with 12 points.
Florida State outrebounded Pitt 30-23, and the Panthers committed 31 personal fouls. The Seminoles responded by going 29 of 40 from the free-throw line. Pitt made 15 of 22 foul shots.
Cofer and fellow forward Mfiondu Kabengele led Florida State with six rebounds each, while Kabengele added 13 points in the win. Seminoles guard Trent Forrest — the hero in Florida State’s last win against No. 11 Clemson in overtime — contributed 12 points Sunday. Florida State has now won back-to-back games.
Sunday was the only meeting of the year between the Panthers and the Seminoles.
—Field Level Media