FSU handles Hatters rally, stops Stetson
F Okaro White (US Presswire)
F Okaro White (US Presswire)
Special to NoleDigest.com
Posted Nov 17, 2011


Stetson frustrated Florida State with sharp 3-point shooting Wednesday, but ultimately the Seminoles had too much size inside and put the Hatters away 79-66 to remain unbeaten on the season.

Florida State's deep and athletic frontcourt was simply too much for Stetson to overcome Wednesday night.

Okaro White scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, leading the 25th-ranked Seminoles to a 79-66 victory over the Hatters.

''We weren't playing too good,'' White said. ''We started off good and let them come back, so I challenged myself to go out there, give it all I got, and that's what gave me that extra boost in the second half.''

Powered by White and Bernard James, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double, the Seminoles shot 57.1 percent (32 of 56) from the field.

Florida State (3-0) also got some timely baskets from Deividas Dulkys, who went 6 for 6 from the floor and finished with 16 points.

Joel Narburgs scored 14 for Stetson (2-1), which went 10 for 33 from 3-point range. J.R. Weston and Chris Perez had 11 points apiece.

FSU made its first seven shots to build a 17-7 lead, then put together a 9-0 run later in the first half to make it 33-14 with 6:48 left.

Stetson responded by knocking down four 3-pointers during a 16-0 run that cut the deficit to 33-30 with 2:22 left in the first half.

''We didn't go into the game saying, `Hey, we're just going to let it fly,''' Stetson coach Casey Alexander said. ''But that is part of what we do, and we're always going to take them when they're available to us.''

Stetson's long-range success frustrated the 'Noles, who led the nation in field-goal percentage defense the past two seasons.

''We knew they were a really good 3-point shooting team,'' James said. ''We didn't want to allow them a lot of threes. We didn't do a very good job of that. ... People want to shoot. They're going to shoot, but we wanted every shot to be contested and I think we struggled with that.''

Stetson closed to 48-41 with 17:24 left in the game. But the Seminoles were more aggressive on defense in the second half and didn't allow the Hatters to get any closer.

''Our guys got the stops we had to when the game was on the line,'' Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. ''To go where we need to go, we need to be more consistent.''

The Seminoles have won six straight games against teams from Florida: a sweep of Jacksonville, Central Florida and Stetson this season, as well as victories over Miami (twice) and Stetson last season. The Seminoles have won 17 straight against Stetson overall, dating to 1975.

Florida State's forwards overwhelmed Stetson inside. The Hatters' roster includes just two 6-foot-9 players, Liam McInerney and Adam Pegg, and the Seminoles used their size advantage to get baskets in the paint.

James made 7 of 8 shots and White was 8 for 11 from the field, helping the Seminoles outscore the Hatters 48-26 in the lane.

Michael Snaer added nine points for the Seminoles, who led 42-34 at halftime. Jeff Peterson finished with seven assists and only one turnover.

Stetson's Aaron Graham put together a solid all-around game, collecting 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.



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