Seminoles Fall to Temple in NIT
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Dwayne Bacon scored a team-high 22 points and led four Seminole starters in double figures, but it was a late rally by Temple that toppled 25th-ranked Florida State from the ranks of the unbeaten as the Owls emerged with an 89-86 victory in the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center on Thursday afternoon.
Bacon, who scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, was the go-to weapon for a Florida State’s high-octane offense that finished 18-of-31 (58.1%) in the frame. The Seminoles (4-1) also took advantage of 11 offensive rebounds to finish with a 36-28 advantage in points in the paint.
Bacon, finished off his third 20-point performance of the season by hitting 9-of-12 from the floor and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. He led the way for a Florida State offense that converted 33-of-60 (55%) shots from the floor and 8-of-18 (44.4%) attempts from 3-point range. The sophomore guard was joined in double figures by the trio of Jonathan Isaac (19 points), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (11) and Terance Mann (10).
Isaac tied his season-high in field goals (seven) as he topped double figures for the fifth straight contest. Along with hitting 7-of-12 from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers, Isaac pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, handed out three assists and had two blocked shots.
Leading 41-33 at the intermission, Florida State scored 19 of the first 30 points of the second half to move in front 60-42. Isaac was the focal point of the Seminole offense in that stretch, scoring 10 of the 18 points, as he knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the process.
Temple (3-2) briefly cut the lead to 11, 63-52, on a pair of free throws by Quinton Rose, before a 3-point by Bacon put the Seminoles in front by 16.
The Owls turned up their defensive pressure with Florida State leading 70-58 with 9:11 remaining in the contest. Temple also got a life from Shizz Alston Jr., who scored knocked down two 3-pointers as he scored eight of the next 10 points to pull Temple within two, 72-70, in just under two minutes of action.
Rose eventually tied the game at 74-all as neither team was able to sustain more than a four-point advantage for the next 2:49 of the game. It was there that Temple’s Obi Enechionyia knocked down a timely 3-pointer to put the Owls up five, 85-80.
Freshman Trent Forrest stepped up in the clutch for the Seminoles, scoring three of the next six points, including a layup, as Florida State trailed 87-86 with 1:20 remaining. The Florida State defense forced a pair of missed shots by the Owls, but an inbounds attempt in the paint by Isaac was unsuccessful as Temple eventually came away with the three-point victory.
Rathan-Mayes reached double figures for the third time this season and second time in as many games after hitting 4-of-10 from the floor. Rathan-Mayes kept his teammates involved offensively as he dished out six of the Florida State’s 18 assists.
Rounding out the double figure starters for the Seminoles was Mann, who shot 50 percent from the floor (4-8) and added a pair of free throws for his third double-digit outing of the season.
Rathan-Mayes exploded for 11 points in the first half, leading the way for a Florida State unit that hit 15-of-29 (51.7%) from the floor and 8-of-11 (72.7%) at the free throw line.
The junior point guard scored four of the first 11 points for the Seminoles, who grabbed an 11-4 advantage just under six minutes into the game. Temple countered by scoring six of the next nine points, pulling to within three, but Isaac and Bacon combined for the next six points as Florida State grabbed a 19-14 lead.
Rathan-Mayes and Phil Cofer knocked down a pair of 3-pointers for Florida State, who moved in front 25-19, as the offense got back on track. A layup by Isaac on a pass from Jarquez Smith along with a three-pointer from the corner by CJ Walker with 3:17 remaining in the half gave the Seminoles their first double figure lead of the afternoon, 34-24.
Michael Ojo eventually pushed the lead to 12, but the two teams split the final 14 points of the first half as Florida State took a 10-point lead into the locker room.
The Seminoles complete the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center on Friday afternoon where they will face either West Virginia or Illinois in the consolation game. Florida State returns to Tallahassee on Monday, Nov. 28, where the Seminoles face Minnesota in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at 7:00 p.m. on ESPNU.