The Daily Nole

FSU Outguns North Florida, 95-81

Mike Olivella/FSU athletics

No. 11 Florida State was pushed again by a seemingly overmatched opponent on Wednesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center, but the Seminoles persevered for a 95-81 win over North Florida.

FSU trailed at the under 11-minute mark of the first half, but managed to go ahead 46-39 at the break. After the FSU lead ballooned to 23 early in the second half, the Ospreys (5-8) used a 17-4 run to cut the lead to 10 at 77-67 with less than eight minutes to play. That was as close as the contest would get the rest of the way.

Turnovers were the difference in the contest as the Seminoles (10-1) forced 19 and gave it away a season-low six times. FSU shot 51 percent for the night despite going just 3-for-23 from 3-point land. North Florida shot 50 percent and 10-for-25 from deep.

The Ospreys also shot twice as many free throws (26) as FSU (13). North Florida managed to keep it respectable on the glass, losing that battle by just a 34-32 margin.

Mfiondu Kabengele’s career-high 24 points, which included a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line, led five Seminoles in double-figures. Kabengele also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. Terance Mann added 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting while P.J. Savoy chipped in with 11 points.

Christ Koumadje and Trent Forrest each scored 10 points for FSU in the win. Koumadje was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. Forrest finished with a game-high seven assists and four steals.

J.T. Escobar, a Tallahassee native, led all scorers with 27 points in the loss for North Florida on 8-for-9 shooting and 5-for-5 from downtown. Noah Horchler finished with 13 points for the Ospreys and a team-high six rebounds.

FSU will play its final game of the calendar year on Saturday when it faces Saint Louis in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise. North Florida wraps up the non-conference with another ranked team on the road as it visits Auburn on Dec. 29.

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

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