NoleGameday

Noles blow out Southern Miss

 

The Florida State Seminoles (8-1) defeated the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (3-4) 98-49 on Tuesday night inside the Donald L. Tucker Center. The 49 point margin of victory was the most for FSU since defeating Savannah State 93-41 back in 2001. The Noles are now 8-1 and off to a hot start.

It didn’t take long for the Seminoles to impose their will in this game, they led 9-2 at the under-16 timeout. The Noles then used a 19-5 run to take a 28-7 lead and to effectively win this one in the first half. At the break, Florida State led 48-26.

The Eagles and Noles traded blows to start the second half, but it really started to get ugly after back to back three pointers by PJ Savoy to balloon the lead up to 62-34. From here, the Noles continued to dominate. They forced the Eagles into bad shots all night, while also forcing 20 turnovers.

Speaking of Savoy, he finished with a career high 27 points on 7-10 shooting from three point range. In total, he took a mere 11 shots to get to 27 points, showing outstanding efficiency. This is only Savoy’s third game back from a turf toe injury and he’s showing he can absolutely be the consistent shooter that the Seminoles need from outside. He’s already 9-14 from deep over the last two games.

In his first start of the season, Jarquez Smith did not disappoint. He finished with 14 points, two steals, and two blocks. His first block of the game was the 100th of his career, Smith is only the 16th player in school history to block 100 shots or more. Quez provided early offense for the Noles as he connected on two three less than four minutes into the game. Smith could be asked to start again on Thursday if Isaac (hip flexor) and Cofer are still dealing with injuries.

The Seminoles ball movement was on full display Tuesday night, and two point guards racked up the assists. Xavier Rathan-Mayes recorded five points, seven assists and three steals while freshman guard CJ Walker had nine points, three rebounds and five assists. In total, Florida State finished with 23 assists, a season-high.

The Eagles shot 30.2% from the field (19-63) and 17.9% from three point range (5-28) as the Seminoles defense had success again. The Noles played with enough pressure on defense to force Southern Miss into mistakes and it worked beautifully. Florida State recorded 14 steals as a team, while the Eagles only had two. The Noles also had eight blocks to Southern Miss’s zero.

Christ Koumadje finished with three blocks for the second consecutive game, he has four games with three or more blocks this season. Big K is showing a better recognition of how to block shots, which points to his development. Last year, Koumadje would swat shots wildly into the stands or out of bounds. This season, he understands that if he doesn’t use as much force, then he can save the ball after blocking it, creating more live ball opportunities for the Noles to score.

As a team, FSU shot 60% (36-60) from the field and 48.3% (14-29) from three point range. The 14 three pointers made are a new season high for the Seminoles. 11 Noles appeared and 11 Noles scored in the win. Walk-on Brandon Allen scored a career-high 10 points as Florida State had four players score in double-figures.

Stat of the night: 7. PJ Savoy finished with seven made threes by himself, FSU hit 14 as a team. Savoy is one of now ten Noles in school history to hit seven three pointers in a game. Watch out for this kid.

MVP: PJ Savoy. He had a career high 27 points in what was his first breakout game as a Seminole. If he continues to shoot the ball at a high clip, he’ll continue to earn more minutes. Savoy’s instant offense could push him towards the top of Florida State’s rotation as we approach ACC play.

Who’s next?: The Seminoles play the Nicholls State Colonels on December 8th at 9 p.m. The game will be played inside the Donald L. Tucker Center, and it will be the Noles last tuneup game before they play Florida on Sunday. The game against Nicholls will be shown on ESPNU.

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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