Game Recap: Florida State Vs Charleston Southern

The Florida State Seminoles opened their season with an 88-67 win over the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.

The Seminoles seemed to struggle early in the game, as they trailed 17-12 less than eight minutes into the contest. They responded to their first test of the season by closing the half on a 26-16 run which turned that deficit into a 38-32 lead at the break. As the second half opened, the Noles were still hot. The team started the half on a 11-0 run to extend the lead out to 49-32, hoping to break the Buccaneers spirit. However, CSU responded by closing the gap to 65-56 with just under eight and a half minutes left. Suddenly, this was a game again.

Now, it was Bacon time. Dwayne Bacon hit back to back threes, assisted by XRM, and the lead was back up to 15. After some back and forth play, the lead ballooned out to 19, 80-61, after Bacon’s fourth three of the game. This would essentially be the clenching shot, as CSU quickly threw in their bench, as did the Noles. In the final few minutes, Christ Koumadje flashed his ability. He grabbed a few rebounds on both ends of the court and had two nice shots as the game winded down in FSU’s favor, 88-67.

Here’s some video highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAXKTtgpR5Y

As a team, FSU shot 49.3% from the field (33-67) and 33.3% from three (7-21). The Noles also finished 15-19 from the line. They dominated this game in almost all facets as they had a plus-12 margin in rebounding, and were able to generate nine steals to CSU’s three. FSU also had seven blocks, the Bucs had six.

Defensively, the Seminoles forced 15 turnovers and held the Buccaneers to 40% shooting from the field. They forced CSU into shooting a paltry 28% from three (7-25). Charleston Southern finished with seven less shots than the Noles.

Dwayne Bacon led the way for FSU, he finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and two steals. It wasn’t just the statline that was impressive, it was how he did it. Bacon shot an efficient 7-14 from the floor, 4-6 from three, and 5-6 from the line. For comparison, last season he shot 28.1% from three, and 71.4% from the line. If he can continue to be more efficient with his buckets, then the Noles are in for a good year.

Xavier-Rathan Mayes added 12 points, five rebounds and an impressive seven assists as he ran the offense. In his debut, Jonathan Isaac had 10 points, three rebounds, and three steals. The freshman showed a nice sense of poise in his first game as a Nole. He didn’t force shots or try to only control the offense through himself, instead, he took what came to him. On defense, he used his length and agility to harass the CSU players into mistakes. One of the steals he grabbed led directly to a fastbreak bucket by XRM.

Big K finished with nine points, three rebounds, and three blocks (!). His huge 7’4” frame helped disrupt the CSU offense whenever he was on the floor, and he had some nice rejections.

Seminole newcomers, Trent Forrest, C.J. Walker, and Braian Angola-Rodas all recorded their first career points. Forrest finished with seven points and six rebounds. Walker had four points and a steal. And Angolas-Rodas recorded five points, an assist, and a steal.

Stat of the night: Four. The Seminoles have won their last four opening games. Their last opening loss? 2012 at home to South Alabama, 76-71, the first game of Michael Ojo’s career (even though he didn’t play).

MVP: Absolutely Dwayne Bacon, he showed that with a consistent jumpshot, he can be a star. Bacon worked all offseason on refining his shot to get rid of bad mechanics that he had developed growing up, with the help of assistant coach Charlton Young, his new shot seems to be working. Let’s see if he can continue to consistently shoot the ball at a high percentage all season.

Who’s Next?: FSU takes on the Iona Gaels at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night inside the Donald L. Tucker Center.

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