Nov. 6, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Senior guard Isaiah Swann scored a game-high 21 points and freshman forward Julian Vaughn scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead Florida State to an 87-66 victory over Valdosta State in an exhibition basketball game at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Swann and Vaughn led five Seminoles in double-figure scoring as Florida State closed its two-game pre-season schedule with a 2-0 record and will play host to Nicholls State in its regular season opener Friday night at home.
Swann scored 21 points on seven-of-15 shooting from the field including three-of-nine from the 3-point arc and a perfect four-of-four from the free throw line. He scored 14 second half points as the Seminoles kept the visiting Blazers at arms length throughout the game. Swann also added four rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot.
Valdosta State was led by Bahaadar Russell, who scored a team-high 13 points, and DeVario Hudson, who earned a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers pulled to within six with just over 13 minutes to play in the game as they outscored the Seminoles 17-12 in the first seven minutes of the second half. Russell led Valdosta with 13 points as he made three 3-point field goals and had four assists. Hudson's 11 rebounds were a game-high; he also added four assists and two steals in 27 minutes of play.
Vaughn was outstanding for the Seminoles in 24 minutes of play. He made four-of-five shots from the field and was a team-high seven-of-nine shots from the free throw line. He pulled down six rebounds and blocked two shots. He scored seven points in the first half and eight in the second to help the Seminoles gain the victory.
"I thought Julian gave us a tremendous effort tonight," said Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. "He showed us what he is capable of doing."
Also in double figures for the Seminoles were junior guard Toney Douglas (13 points), junior forward Uche Echefu (11 points) and senior Jason Rich (10 points). Douglas added six rebounds and a team-high three steals, Echefu totaled five rebounds and one blocked shot and Rich earned two blocked shots and two steals in 28 minutes of play.
Florida State shot the ball well as it made 52.6 percent of its shots for the game and defended the ball well as it limited the Blazers to 36.0 percent shooting for the game. The Seminoles made more than 50 percent of their shots and limited their opponents under 38 percent shooting from the field in both of their exhibition game wins. Florida State blocked six shots and earned six steals in its victory over Valdosta State.
"I was pleased with our perimeter guys," said Hamilton. "I thought they showed a lot of improvement and promise. We are a very good perimeter shooting team but they are not always going to fall. I thought we had good looks. That is probably the strength of this team, our perimeter shooting, but we have to have a balanced attack. We didn't take the ball inside very much tonight."
Florida State plays host to Nicholls State in its regular season opener Friday at 7 p.m. The Seminoles are undefeated in their five previous season openers under Hamilton. Tickets are available to be purchased for the game on seminoles.com or by calling 1-888-FSU-NOLE.