The Daily Nole

FSU Squanders Big Lead in Loss to Temple

FSU athletics

Thursday may have been a day for turkey, but in the second half of the first NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal, it was the Florida State defense that was carved up.

The Seminoles let an 18-point lead slip away in an 89-86 loss to Temple in Brooklyn. Over the final 20 minutes, the Owls scored 58 points, shot 57 percent and 8-for-14 from beyond the 3-point arc.

FSU (4-1) led 41-31 at halftime and it appeared as though it would cruise to victory after back-to-back baskets by Jonathan Isaac gave the Seminoles a 60-42 lead with under 13 and a half minutes to play. Temple (3-2) responded with a 31-12 run over the next six and a half minutes, capped with an Alani Moore 3-pointer that gave the Owls their first lead since the score was 4-3 in the opening minutes.

From there, the lead changed hands six times. Temple’s lead ballooned to five, thanks to an 8-0 run that included 3-pointers by Moore and Obi Enechionyia, but with under five seconds to play, FSU had the ball down one and with a chance to go ahead.

On the final inbounds play, the Seminoles got the ball to Isaac under the basket, but the freshman was unable to keep control of it as he went up for a lay-in with time ticking away and the Owls grabbed the rebound. After two Temple free throws on the other end, Xavier Rathan-Mayes’ 75-foot heave that would have tied the game caromed off the left side of the rim.

Freshman Quinton Rose led Temple with 26 points, followed by Shizz Alston’s 22 and a 16-point, 8-rebound effort from Enechionyia.

Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles with 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Isaac finished with 19 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Rathan-Mayes added 11 points and a game-high six assists while Terance Mann chipped in with 10 points before fouling out.

With the win, Temple will move on to face West Virginia in the NIT Season-Tip Off Championship on Friday. FSU will face Illinois in a consolation game.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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