The Daily Nole

FSU Beats Florida in 83-78 Thriller

Clint Eiland/The Daily Nole

Florida State men’s basketball entered Sunday’s contest against the No. 21 Florida Gators with hopes of winning three straight contests against its rivals from Gainesville. The Seminoles did just that with an 83-78 victory that was closer than the score suggests.

A grinding first half from both defenses put scoring at a premium, yet the second half turned into an exciting shootout. Dwayne Bacon and KeVaughn Allen entered a classic duel of the scorers, trying to will both of their teams to victory. Ultimately, Florida State would come out on top, giving the Seminoles (10-1) their best win of the season.

Both will now have six days off before playing Sunrise for the Orange Bowl Classic. FSU will take on Manhattan while Florida (7-3) will face Charlotte.


  • FSU had trouble early with Florida’s guards. On offense, Xavier Rathan-Mayes had an early turnover and 0 points, while Terance Mann struggled to get much going. Defensively, KeVaughan Allen and Kasey Hill had early success getting to the rim.
  • Christ Koumadje and Michael Ojo were ineffective to start the game. They could not get separation down low and it resulted in Florida clogging the lane against guys like Bacon and Jonathan Isaac.
  • Braian Angola-Rodas provided a huge boost around the 10-minute mark in the first half. He scored six points in two minutes and played great defense on Florida’s guards, causing jump balls and stopping drives in the lane.
  • The Gators (7-3) had serious trouble getting defensive rebounds, letting FSU rack up seven offensive boards before the half. It was the glaring weakness in their defense, which was overall stout.
  • Ojo caused trouble for Florida as the half came to a close. He went to the line twice for free throws and made all four of them. He had six points heading into halftime.
  • Florida began heaving shots from 3-point in the final five minutes of the first half, but wasn’t converting. It was detrimental to its offense and kept FSU closer than it might have seemed.
  • Despite shooting 37 percent to Florida’s 46 percent, FSU maintained a 36-34 lead heading into the locker rooms. The Seminoles were winning rebounds by a 22-15 margin, but their nine turnovers resulted in 18 points for Florida.
  • Much like last year, Dwayne Bacon began to shift the tide in Florida State’s favor in the second half. Two straight euro-steps for a combined five points electrified the crowd and frustrated Florida.
  • FSU pursued a much more aggressive defense to start the half, attempting to cause more turnovers. This was fairly boom-or-bust, as the result was almost solely FSU points or Florida points.
  • The Gators had no answer for FSU’s pace. The guards were pushing it up court very well and leading to quick points. Rathan-Mayes was especially forceful with all seven of his points coming in the second half.
  • Florida State closed the shooting gap fairly quickly. The final percentages were 46 percent for FSU and 47 percent for Florida.
  • Both teams began exchanging field goals as the half went on. Koumadje kept selling out on blocks and letting easy dump off passes get behind him. Meanwhile, Dwayne Bacon started flexing his NBA skill set and scored 16 points in the second half. Not to be outdone, Florida guard KeVaughn Allen put up 13 points of his own.
  • Florida went on quite the scoring streak to end the game. It made a bucket on what seemed like 10 straight possessions, allowing it to remain firmly in the game despite FSU playing near flawlessly on offense. The Gators even played pretty good on defense, but Allen was hot.
  • Jonathan Isaac overall did not have a good game. He missed easy shots and struggled to defend. Sometimes it just isn’t your night, and Isaac will certainly learn from the rivalry atmosphere.
  • Free throws once again took the spotlight as the FSU lead closed to within four. Thankfully for FSU, it shot 8-for-10 from the line in the final minute.

Notable Numbers

Dwayne Bacon (FSU): 24 points (9-for-18), 3 rebounds, 2 assists

Terance Mann (FSU): 16 points (6-for-10), 10 rebounds, 2 assists

Kasey Hill (UF): 21 points (10-for-15), 3 rebounds, 3 assists

KeVaughn Allen (UF): 16 points (6-for-13)


Dwayne Bacon on if he is a Florida State legend: “I wouldn’t say that, just because…I tend to see legends as more of a 4-year player when they’re in college…it’s a great opportunity to me, getting the chance to play Florida.”

Leonard Hamilton on Terance Mann: “Terance has kind of turned out to be a leader, because he never takes a possession off…he does all the little things that it takes for you to win the game.”

Terance Mann on encouraging Jonathan Isaac: “You know Jonathan, it was a big game so he kind of struggled in the beginning, I could tell. I just talked to him at halftime and I said ‘As long as you stay aggressive, good things will come’. Because he’s a great player…he knocked them down the stretch and it was a good decision.

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