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Nov. 19, 1997

Florida State Advances at NIT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Kerry Thompson scored 16 points and Terrell Baker added 14 Wednesday night as Florida State defeated Utah State 66-55 in a preseason NIT quarterfinal game.

The Seminoles (3-0) will play Connecticut next Wednesday in the NIT semifinals in New York. It will be Florida State's second trip in eight months to Madison Square Garden, where they finished second in the NIT last March with nearly the same team.

Florida State bolted to a 25-9 lead in the first period and were never led in the game. The Aggies did pull to within 33-30 in the opening minute of the second half on a basket by Pharoah Davis, who led Utah State with 8 rebounds.

Utah State (2-1) was led in scoring by Marcus Saxon's 14 points. Justin Jones added 13. Saxon, who scored 31 points in Utah State's 75-64 victory Monday at Minnesota, made only 5 of 15 shots and was just 1 of 4 from 3-point distance.

The Aggies shot 40.4 percent for the game compared to Florida State's 54.5 percent. Baker, who hit 8 of 10 free throw tries in the second half, also led the Seminoles with 8 rebounds and a game-high 4 steals.

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