At the end of the first half, Pittsburgh led Florida State by a score of 39-38. The Seminoles continued their turnover troubles from their previous game against Clemson, turning the ball over six times in the first half. Florida State started turning the ball early on. Their first turnover was three seconds into the game. This is a trend that the Seminoles will need to find a way to end because once they go up against the upper echelon of the Atlantic Coast Conference, it will be very difficult to win if they turn over the ball that many times in a half.
The biggest issue for the Seminoles though was Pittsburgh’s ability to hit three-pointers. In the first half, Pittsburgh was 10-17 from the three-point line, shooting 59%. Conversely, the Seminoles shot 47% from the three-point line. The Seminoles were able to get to the free-throw line though, shooting roughly 69%. This was a major reason they managed to keep the score close.
Florida State was led by guard P.J. Savoy, who scored 12 points in the first half. Fellow guard Trent Forrest added nine points and led all players with four rebounds. Pittsburgh was led by guard Parker Stewart, who scored 12 points and made 4-5 three-point attempts.
In the second half, Florida State was greatly aided by the return of guard Terance Mann and to a lesser extent, fellow guard Braian Angola. Both players did not play at all in the first half due to undisclosed “indiscretions” according to Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton, who would not address it any further than that after the game.
The Seminoles were able to cut down on their turnovers, only turning the ball over twice in the second half. By doing that, along with outrebounding Pittsburgh and shooting 73% from the free-throw line, the Seminoles were able to jump out to an early lead. Although Pittsburgh came close a few times to taking the lead, the Seminoles would respond with a big shot of their own or drew a foul and made their free-throws.
Florida State had five players score in double-digits with their leading scorer Savoy, finishing with 18 points, which led all scorers. Forward Phil Cofer and guard M.J. Walker both added 14 points apiece. Fellow forward Mfiondu Kabengele added 13 points of his own and tied with Cofer in leading all rebounders with six rebounds. Forrest finished with 12 points and was a sparkplug in the second half, helping the Seminoles push the pace of play.
Pittsburgh had four players score in double-digits, with combo guards Jared Wilson-Frame and Shamiel Stevenson scoring 17 points apiece. Guard Parker Stewart added 16 points and fellow guard Jonathan Milligan added 12 points. The biggest issue for Pittsburgh was that they had three players foul out in the second half, with two other players coming close with four fouls apiece. Florida State’s ability to get to the free-throw line significantly impacted the way Pittsburgh played in the second half as they were not able to be as aggressive defensively as they could’ve been.
Florida State will get a week off and some much-needed rest before they return to action on the road against a good NC State Wolfpack team at PNC Arena, on February 25th, 6PM EST. Pittsburgh will go back home to the Petersen Events Center to face off against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on February 21st, 9PM EST.