Boy, these guys really are clutch, aren’t they? A Trent Forrest floater was the difference for the Florida State Seminoles in a game that had many ‘Noles wondering about the team. But this was a tale of two halves for the Seminoles, who proved in the end that they know how to win the tight game.
The first half was a clinic for FSU (6-1) defensively, holding Purdue (5-2) to 32 points on 32.1% shooting (23.5% from 3). We knew coming in that the Boilermakers’ star point guard, Carsen Edwards, was going to score, and that there wasn’t much we could do about it. FSU did limit Edwards, making him look like a Carmelo Anthony-style volume player. He was 7-19 (36.8%) on the night, including 3-10 from deep. On the other hand, FSU’s scoring was very balanced, a continued strength for the ‘Noles. 7 out of 10 players scored for the ‘Noles in the half, and none more than 9 points. After a loss that took them out of their offense, FSU got back to what they do best, getting a few fast-break opportunities and getting into the paint, outscoring Purdue 18-6 in the lane. The ‘Noles took a 44-32 lead into the locker room.
The second half wasn’t nearly as fun for the boys in (tonight) blue. (As an aside, I really do like those turquoise uniforms. Don’t @ me.) Purdue stormed back, demolishing FSU’s 12-point lead, and pushed their own lead to 5 points – a spot where they held until the under-8 timeout. Purdue took over points in the paint, they outscored FSU on the fast break, and their bench outscored FSU’s bench. Not a good look for the Seminoles.
But then the ‘Noles bowed up. 13 second half points from MJ Walker led Florida State to within one with 2:15 left in the game. But then Trent Forrest hit the sweet floater with 6 seconds left to send the crowd at the T-L-C-double-C into a frenzy. He then grabbed a lob pass from Purdue on the final possession to seal the game for the good guys. Take a look at this beauty of a shot:
What’s Next for the ‘Noles
The Seminoles get the rest of the week off, then stay at home to play the 3-3 Troy Trojans. The Trojans are not very good this year, and this should be a good chance to see FSU boatrace an opponent. The Trojans are led by freshman forward Jordon Varnado, with 16.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Look for FSU to use their deep rotation and length to trample the Trojans, while working on their fundamentals before a grueling conference schedule.
The game is Monday, December 3rd at 8pm on the ACC Network. No line has been announced as of this writing.