The Daily Nole

Florida State Grinds Past Tulane 80-69

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Florida State basketball moved to 2-0 on the season after grinding out a tough 80-69 win over the Tulane Green Wave on Sunday night.

The first half was a sloppy, foul-afflicted affair. Both teams had a propensity for attacking the basket and forcing contact near the rim. The referees called a strict game, leading to 25 fouls between the two teams. It became a problem for Florida State’s post players in particular. RaiQuan Gray, Christ Koumadje, and Mfiondu Kabengele each had two fouls by half.

Neither team was particularly sharp from 3-point range. Both shot below 37 percent, but Tulane’s 50 percent overall shooting kept them in a close game with the Seminoles. Despite out-rebounding and out-shooting Florida State, they were still unable to grab a lead. Florida State took a 39-35 lead into the third quarter thanks to 10 points from Terance Mann. Tulane forward Samir Sehic led all scorers with 17.

Florida State’s defense began slowing the Green Wave to start the third quarter. Zone looks and tougher inside presence helped spark turnovers, and the Seminoles took advantage with successful fast breaks. Trent Forrest put pressure on the Tulane defense and gave the team exactly what they were looking for.

It lasted until the 11-minute mark, when freshman Tulane guard Kevin Zhang scored seven straight points to pull the Green Wave within single digits. Florida State called a timeout at 59-50 with under 10 minutes left to regroup.

Both teams traded blows for the next five minutes. Florida State continued to find success around the rim with their fast-paced offense, while Tulane got hot from the floor with Zhang and guard Jordan Cornish. The Seminoles busted out a 10-0 run to make it 72-57 and give themselves a comfortable cushion.

From there on out, Tulane was able to keep within striking distance, but Florida State’s offense proved too reliable. The Seminoles shot over 55 percent in the second half and dominated the paint with 26 points on the inside.

The usual suspects led the way for Florida State. Mann recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, P.J. Savoy managed 14 points on 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range, and Trent Forrest had 13 points with seven rebounds and five assists.

For Tulane, Zhang was the star of the night by going for 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting and seven rebounds. Right behind him was Sehic with 19 points.

The Seminoles won the rebound battle 37-29 and forced 18 Tulane turnovers. They also committed 14 turnovers of their own.

Florida State’s next game will be against the Canisius Golden Griffins on Monday, November 19th. That game will be played in Tallahassee.

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