No. 19 Florida State used a late 17-1 run to rally past South Florida 66-60 on Saturday afternoon in the annual Orange Bowl Classic at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Florida State (10-2) rallied from an early 13-point deficit. The Seminoles also trailed by 10 points with 6:32 left in the second half when they made their big run. The Seminoles used tenacious defense — forcing 24 turnovers and blocking 10 shots in the game — to fuel their comeback.
RaiQuan Gray, Trent Forrest and Anthony Polite each had a team-high 11 points for Florida State, which shot 40 percent from the field and 7 of 27 from 3-point range.
South Florida (6-6) was led by 7-foot center Michael Durr, who had 15 points. Laquincy Rideau recorded 14 points, seven rebounds, and four assists and David Collins also scored 14 points for the Bulls, who shot 42.9 percent from the field and were 3 of 15 from behind the arc.
In the end, it was another heartbreaking loss for the Bulls, who were coming off a 76-74 overtime loss against Utah State on Wednesday night.
This is the eighth straight year Florida State has played in the OB Classic. The Seminoles are 9-2 all-time in this event.
Florida State was off early, missing 13 of its first 14 shots and falling behind 17-4. During that span, South Florida shot 50 percent and had eight second-chance points.
The Seminoles came charging back, cutting their deficit to 29-28 before USF’s Xavier Castaneda drove for a layup just before the halftime buzzer. That gave the Bulls a 31-28 lead at the break.
Neither team shot the ball very well in the first half. Florida State shot just 32.1 percent from the floor, including 2-of-14 on 3-pointers. USF was better from the floor (43.3 percent) but made just 1-of-10 of 3-pointers.
FSU took its first lead of the game, 47-46, on a Forrest layup with 8:06 left in the second half.
USF came back with a five-point play as Justin Brown made a three-pointer, and Collins swished a pair of free throws following a technical foul on FSU coach Leonard Hamilton.
Collins’ 3-pointer and Durr’s dunk gave USF a 57-47 lead with 6:32 left.
But the Seminoles took over from there. Devin Vassell’s jumper with 2:01 left in the second half gave FSU a 60-58 lead that the Seminoles did not relinquish.
—Field Level Media