The Daily Nole

Florida State Falls to Notre Dame 84-69

Florida State (17-8, 6-7 ACC) could not keep up with Notre Dame (15-10, 5-7 ACC) on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Fighting Irish 84-69 after a collapse down the stretch.

The game started out in Notre Dame’s favor, as the Fighting Irish held a steady lead over Florida State for most of the first half. Leonard Hamilton’s squad was not rattled by a cold start on offense and began to slowly chip away at the Notre Dame defense. The emphasis was on the long ball, as the teams combined for 29 3-point attempts in the first 20 minutes. Notre Dame had a slight shooting advantage in this regard (43 percent vs. 38 percent) and thus entered the locker room ahead, 40-34.

Florida State guard P.J. Savoy returned for the first time since his injury against Syracuse back on Jan. 13. He quickly made his presence known by knocking down three attempts from behind the arc, and had already accumulated 11 points by the start of the second half. Meanwhile, Notre Dame guard Matt Farrell continued to be the star scorer for the Fighting Irish with 14 points.

The margin between the two teams began to close when Florida State started to control the boards. Christ Koumadje and Terance Mann asserted themselves in the paint, taking advantage of the absence of Notre Dame star Bonzie Colson. It allowed plenty of second-chance opportunities that helped the Seminoles tie it up 56-56 midway through the second half.

It didn’t last long, as the Fighting Irish began to get hot on offense once again. They rattled off an 17-4 run over the next few minutes. Florida State simply couldn’t hold out on defense, letting Notre Dame score from just about every part of the court.

The Seminoles also coughed up possession with a multitude of bad inbounds passes and turnovers on the other side of the court. The last eight minutes were basic domination by Notre Dame.

C.J. Walker was a bright spot amidst a disappointing FSU offense. He scored 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting and tallied two assists. Mann led the team in rebounding with eight.

For Notre Dame, Farrell may have had his best game of the year. He notched 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range. He contributed five assists and four rebounds as well. Behind him were guard Rex Pflueger and T.J. Gibbs with 19 points each.

Notre Dame will head to Chapel Hill for a Monday night game against the 21st-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. The Seminoles return to Tallahassee and have four days to prepare for a home game against the 16th-ranked Clemson Tigers on Wednesday.

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