A back-and-forth game from the start, FSU (5-1) dropped their first game of the season to a strong Villanova (5-2) team 66-60. After outlasting LSU in overtime 79-76 on Friday night, FSU had to regroup and play a Wildcat team who had been lethal from beyond the arc. While FSU did a very good job limiting the defending champs from deep – only 3-14 (21.4%) – the Cats were too much defensively for the ‘Noles, who were themselves 3-12 (25%) from beyond the arc.
The ‘Noles were led in scoring by Mfiondu Kabengele, with 11 points. He also added 6 rebounds. Trent Forrest also had 11 points, 9 of which were in the second half. ‘Nova had 4 players in double-digits, led by Collin Gillespie, with 17 points. Eric Paschall had 15 points, and Phil Booth added 12 points.
What Villanova lacked in 3-point shooting, they made up in 2-point shooting and defense. The Wildcats only missed 6 shots inside the arc, for a 79.3% 2-point percentage. They limited the ‘Noles to 19-39 on 2’s, for a percentage of 48.7%.
Florida State never looked comfortable on the floor, and credit the ‘Nova defense for keeping the Seminoles off-balance. FSU was never able to get into their offense, only scoring 6 fast-break points. The fragmented ‘Noles turned the ball over 16 times, as compared to Villanova’s 12. Trent Forrest led the way in this unwanted category, giving the ball away a team-high 4 times, while only providing 1 assist. The junior from Chipley, FL looked completely out of sorts, leading the announcers to wonder where his offensive presence had gone by late in the second half.
What’s Next for the ‘Noles
FSU gets a few days’ rest at home before the ACC-Big 10 Challenge, where they face #19 Purdue (5-1). The Boilermakers are coming off a win, 84-46, over perennial power Robert Morris. Purdue’s only loss came at the hands of a talented Virginia Tech squad, 89-83.
Purdue is led by junior point guard Carson Edwards, who averages 25.3 ppg. Senior guard Ryan Cline averages 14.3, while junior forward Evan Boudreaux adds 11.2 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. FSU will need to make Edwards earn his points if they want to earn a point for the ACC in the Challenge.
FSU has not seen much from PJ Savoy over the last few games, and needs his 3-point shooting back in order to win games as they did earlier in the season. He is only 1-5 from three in his last 2 games.