NoleGameday

Noles fall to Temple, look to rebound against Illinois

#25 Florida State lost for the first time this season, as they were upset by the Temple Owls 89-86 in their first game of the NIT Season Tip-Off. For about 27 minutes, The Noles played a pretty good game.

They led the Owls at halftime by ten, 41-31. From there, the lead continued to grow and the Seminoles extended the lead to 18, 60-42, with around 13 and a half minutes to play in the game. Next, Temple began to get hot. From the 13:12 mark to the 5:25 mark, the Owls only missed one shot from the field and made all of their freebies. Now, the lead had been cut to one, 78-77. From here, the two teams fought and battled for the lead in the final few minutes. With around ten seconds to go in the game, FSU had the ball and they trailed by one point. The ball was swatted out of bounds with 4.6 seconds to play, and the Noles called timeout to draw up a play. On the ensuing inbounds play, Terance Mann tried to lob it to a jumping Jonathan Isaac, who then landed and gathered himself before missing a contested layup. The Seminoles were unable to grab the offensive rebound, while the Owls secured the miss with about a second to go, effectively ending this one. The Noles missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.

Florida State lost this one simply because of defense. They got lackadaisical after extending their lead to 18 and it showed. The effort and commitment to making stops wavered, and Temple made their wide open shots. Hopefully this collapse becomes a learning moment for this team, and not a regular occurrence. They have to play hard for 40 minutes every single night.

In the loss, Dwayne Bacon scored 22 points and he also grabbed two steals. Jonathan Isaac poured in 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocks in a great showing for him. Unfortunately, Isaac would miss the game winning layup. XRM recorded 11 points and six assists, he hit a few tough shots. C.J. Walker made a noticeable impact on offense off the bench, he recorded seven straight points at one point.

Well, after their first defeat of the season, the Seminoles aren’t going to have much time to sit around and recover. They’ll take on the Illinois Fighting Illini tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU again.

Illinois lost by 32, 89-57, to the West Virginia Mountaineers in their game of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Fighting Illini turned the ball over a whopping 24 times in their loss, which led to 34 Mountaineer points. West Virginia’s harassing defense made it a really tough day for Illinois, and it culminated in a blowout victory for WVU.

The Noles and Illini have two common opponents this season, Detroit Mercy and Winthrop. FSU defeated Winthrop by 14 while Illinois lost to them by four last week. FSU defeated Detroit Mercy by 29 while Illinois defeated them by 20.

The Illini are led by senior guard Malcolm Hill. He’s averaging 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Illinois does have five players averaging double figures and 11 averaging double figure minutes. Compared to FSU, The Noles only have two players averaging double figures (three with 9+), but they also have 11 averaging double figures in minutes. Both of these teams play big rotations, so if the bench players have big games for FSU, it’ll greatly improve their chances.

Projection:

What kind of a team are we going to see? Are we going to see the group that collapsed on defense down the stretch and failed to generate consistent halfcourt offense? Or are we going to see the team that plays tough defense and then generates transition opportunities?

We haven’t seen how this team plays after a loss yet, but I’m hoping they respond instead of buckle, especially against a reeling Illinois team that lost by 32. I see FSU on top of this one by double figures, I believe in their mentality and have high hopes that they’ll respond the right way.

Dustin Lewis
Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in English Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Writer for FSView Sports and Hashtag Basketball.

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