The Daily Nole

FSU Defeats Loyola, 96-71

Clint Eiland/The Daily Nole

Florida State refused to be hungover from Monday night’s huge win, grabbing another victory at home with a 96-71 dismantling of the Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Wednesday night.

The Seminoles (8-0) did not allow Loyola to gain any momentum. Right from the beginning, FSU came out and returned to its aggressive ways on defense. In turn, this provoked more offensive opportunities and allowed the Seminoles to exploit their advantage inside. They started to transition more towards outside shooting as the half went. They led 46-31 at the break.

As expected, the second half wasn’t much to spectate. Loyola (1-7) simply did not have the shooting to get back in the game. Florida State kept hitting from outside and giving itself more comfort room as the game entered the final stretch. Fouls slowed it down but the game was effectively over by the 5-minute mark

Observations

  • Florida State kept up the defensive effort it displayed in Gainesville. The Seminoles went right back to aggressively swiping and even threw in some full court press early in the first half. They got sloppy with the shot blocks towards the first media timeout however.
  • FSU was more than happy to attack the paint. Loyola had a clear size disadvantage. When FSU went big early in the game, it appeared to be running three down low with Terance Mann, Ike Obiagu, and Phil Cofer.
  • Loyola took a very similar offensive approach. Instead of leaning on outside shooting, it went straight to the rim and tried to provoke the Seminoles into foul trouble. It didn’t have much an effect on the scoreboard, but it did become clear that FSU was frustrated at having to defend drives constantly.
  • The improvement in 3-point shooting has been crucial to offensive success. Players are finally comfortable with long-range shots and are hitting them when they get good looks.
  • Towards the latter half of the first, the Seminoles stopped asserting themselves near the basket. It wasn’t too detrimental since they were hitting their outside shots, but it was a surprising development to see Loyola have more points in the paint at half (24 to FSU’s 16).
  • Stats show a very even game with respect to turnovers, rebounds, and combined blocks/steals. The critical difference came in shooting percentage (55 percent to 40) and bench points (16 to eight) — both in Florida State’s favor at the break.
  • Florida State began to slip up on the fast break. Multiple times it got caught transitioning to defense with a numbers disadvantage. It’s hard to say if that was an effort problem or sloppiness problem.
  • Loyola seemed to have more success when FSU went to small-ball lineup with Phil Cofer in the paint. The Seminoles regrouped during the first media timeout and started to fix the defensive communication issues.
  • Fouls extended the game longer than it should have. The teams combined for over 20 whistles, in large part due to the physical play on the inside. Florida State was more than content with letting Loyola try to come back that way instead of 3-point shooting.
  • Loyola got tired near the end and did not have the energy to close out on shots. Once that happened, the result was never in doubt.
  • Final shooting numbers indicate FSU dominance (58 percent compared to 40 percent) as well as assists (19 to Loyola’s 8).

Notable Numbers

M.J. Walker (FSU): 15 points (4-for-10), 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals

Braian Angola (FSU): 18 points (7-for-8), 4 rebounds, 2 blocks

Chuck Champion (LOY): 15 points (6-for-13), 3 rebounds, 2 assists

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