The Daily Nole

Seminoles Defeat Iona Gaels, 99-78

Clint Eiland/The Daily Nole

Florida State men’s basketball used an efficient offense and opportunistic defense to grab a nice 99-78 victory over the Iona Gaels at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center on Tuesday night.

Iona’s fast paced offense allowed the Gaels (0-1) to get off to a quick start and force the Seminoles to adjust their defensive focus. The Gaels strong start did not last long, as it only took FSU five minutes to retake the lead. It did not relinquish it for the rest of the game, and that was a trend that started in the first half.

The Seminoles let Iona take quick shots and witnessed the Gaels get cold from the field. Florida State (2-0) then began to take advantage of the athletic disparity and cut to the rim more often. Players like Dwayne Bacon and Trent Forrest were too big of mismatches for Iona to respond to. Florida State led 47-32 at half.

The storyline did not change in the second half, even though the Gaels did try to slow down their offense. While it did work to some extent (they scored 14 more points in the second than the first) they still had no response to Florida State’s athletes. Both teams traded baskets while the Seminoles’ 20-point lead rarely fluctuated too much in either direction. Fouls began to rack up for both teams and the game moved at a slower pace. Florida State was able to cruise to victory from there.

The Seminoles will remain home to take on Winthrop on Friday night. Iona will be in action again on Sunday against Nevada.


  • The Iona offense loves playing at a fast pace, but this became a detriment in the first half. After taking an early lead, missed shots allowed the Florida State offense to strike back and quickly attack the basket.
  • The Gaels ran a 2-3 zone defense, yet they were still unable to prevent the Seminoles from having success inside. At one point, 16 of 28 Florida State’s points were in the paint.
  • Free throw shooting was not Florida State’s strong suit in the first half. The Seminoles only hit 30 percent on their first 10 attempts. Fortunately for them they rebounded a bit, but they still only finished at 67 percent.
  • Michael Ojo and Christ Koumadje combined for less than 10 minutes at the half. Iona’s offense did not require much defensive presence down low, as they often settled for jump shots or 3-point attempts. They finished with 5 and 7 minutes played, respectively.
  • Iona adjusted in the second half and began to run a more fluid version of the 2-3 defense. Instead of sticking the center down low and having him try to deter drives to the lane, they let him roam a bit and come out to defend the wing.
  • Jarquez Smith still might be the most offensively productive post player on the team. He was utilized a lot Tuesday night and finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
  • The Gaels had almost no bench production whatsoever. They had 9 bench points compared to Florida State’s 45.
  • Florida State spread the scoring very well this game, with six different players tallying double-digit points. Oddly enough, the Noles only had 10 assists on the game.
  • If anyone needed proof of Florida State’s dominance down low: the Seminoles won total rebounds 45-31 and points in the paint 52-18.
  • FSU continues to be remarkably efficient in its offense. It finished Tuesday’s game at 58 percent overall shooting, and five of its players shot above 50 percent from the floor.

Notable Numbers

Jonathan Isaac (FSU): 20 points (6-for-8), 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block

Phil Cofer (FSU): 13 points (6-for-8), 6 rebounds

Jarquez Smith (FSU): 12 points (3-for-5), 7 rebounds

Sam Cassell Jr. (Iona): 28 points (8-for-21), 3 assists

Jordan Washington (Iona): 16 points (5-for-9)

Numbers in parenthesis is field goal attempts


Jarquez Smith on the team’s depth: “Having that many people, we don’t need to worry about saving energy or saving ourselves. We just go out and play a good, hard, three to four minutes and if we’re tired, ask coach to sub us out.”

Jarquez Smith on dominating the paint: “…we’ve been working on it ever since the summer. We’ve been trying to improve our box-outs with teams that shoot threes, because there tends to be long rebounds, so coach really put an emphasis on that.”

Leonard Hamilton on Ojo and Koumadje: “Ojo and Chris didn’t play very much…that was because of how we had to play in order to be successful. But I think that’s a strength of the team, that we can make those adjustments.”

Leonard Hamilton on three point shooting struggles: “Well there’s no question that PJ Savoy is our best 3-point shooter…X has shot the ball as well as anybody that I’ve been associated with since I’ve been at Florida State, and he just hasn’t gotten into a rhythm yet…we’ll get better shots.”

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