Nichols and Mann lead FSU to big win over St. Louis

Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire

FSU traveled to Sunrise for a neutral site game against the St. Louis Bilikens in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. FSU sported their turquoise uniforms for the second time this season, also wearing them against Purdue. This was each team’s 3rd game of the week, with fatigue playing a factor in the game.

FSU put up one of their best performances of the year, playing a complete game start to finish. SLU didn’t lead once the entire game, FSU led from their second possession of the game and never looked back. Terrance Mann (17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists) got the Noles rolling with a 3-pointer for FSU’s first basket. FSU’s defense was stout all day, not giving the Bilikens any room to work. The Seminoles defense protected the rim all day, rarely letting SLU even get a layup.

Fourteen minutes into the game, the Noles had already built a 16-point lead, 29-13. Phil Cofer (7 points, 1 rebound) made his first basket of the season in his second game back from a foot injury. Cofer looked much better today, getting back into the flow of the game, but still needs some time to get to 100%. FSU finished the half with a buzzer beater 3 by David Nichols (19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist) on a perfectly drawn up play. The buzzer-beater gave the Noles a 40-25 halftime lead. Mann led the way with 13 points by half, while Nichols and PJ Savoy (8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) each added 8. The Noles were shooting a stellar 48% from the field at half, while SLU was shooting 35%.

The second half started just as fast as the first half for the Noles, building a 24-point lead less than seven minutes into the half after back to back 3’s from Nichols. Cofer made his first three of the season also, as the Noles got back on track from deep. After only making three 3-pointers in their last game, FSU went 10-18 from deep on the day. FSU had some turnover trouble near the end of the game but finished the game off with back-to-back dunks from Mann that was the exclamation point on the game.

FSU defeated the Bilikens 81-59, improving to 11-1 on the season. The Noles are gearing up for ACC play, with one more non-conference game against Winthrop at home on New Year’s Day. The Noles should be 12-1 going into their first ACC game at No.5 Virginia. If the Noles stay healthy, they should be able to compete and defeat against the ACC and some of the best teams in the nation. FSU’s depth and size will keep them in all of their games, and give them a chance to defeat whoever they play.

Coming up:

Vs. Winthrop 1/1, @ No.5 Virginia 1/5, vs. Miami 1/9

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