PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – It was one of those games that Jeff Capel worried about in days leading up to it. He knew that 623-game winner Leonard Hamilton had a team better than a 6-13 overall record. Florida State was picked fifth preseason in the ACC and found the spark they were looking for Saturday afternoon beating the Panthers 71-64.
“They were terrific,” Capel said. “They were playing so much better than their record. They started to get healthier and have a lot of talent on their team. We got off to a really good start, good energy and then weren’t able to sustain it.”
“We allowed our inability to make shots affect our defense.”
Panthers (13-7, 6-3 ACC) came out strong at the Petersen Events Center building a 15-5 lead in the first 5:14 of the game, including a four-point play by Greg Elliott. The crowd was into it, Florida State burned a timeout.
The Seminoles (7-13, 5-4 ACC) then couldn’t miss, especially from three. FSU hit seven of its first 10 three-point attempts as part of a 20-2 run to lead by as many as a dozen and by 10 at half.
Pitt came in outscoring its opponents by 95 in second halves this year. They would continue that trend after halftime again. A pair of three-pointers by Blake Hinson gave Pitt a three-point lead just six-and-a half minutes into the second half. It was tight most of the rest of the game, Panthers down by just one at the 2:20 mark cutting the lead to 65-64.
The Panthers wouldn’t score again.
Florida State made 10-20 from three and 51% from the floor overall. The Panthers came into the game second in the ACC allowing a .405 field goal percentage.
“We did not defend up to our standards and how we need to win in this league,” Capel said. “That’s not going to win you a lot of games. We have to do a better job moving forward.”
“We didn’t do our thing defensively,” Hinson said. “We did a lot of things wrong and that’s why we lost,”
· Pitt shot 32% FG in the first half, 54% in the second
· Panthers were 7-28 from three, they came in hitting 34% from beyond the arc
· Jamarius Burton was 8-13 from the floor, 20 points and five assists
· Hinson 5-12 for 16 points, nine rebounds and five fouls
· Federiko Federiko eight points, eight rebounds, three blocks
· Bench points, FSU 17, Pitt 4
· 2nd chance points, Pitt 11, FSU 0
· FSU’s Darin Green finished with 24 points, 5-8 from three. “We didn’t do a good enough job making him uncomfortable,” Burton said. “He got off to a hot start. He’s a very versatile player and he made us pay today.”
· FSU’s Matthew Cleveland 11 points, eight rebounds & Caleb Mills 11 points and seven rebounds
· Jeff Capel’s teams are now 3-3 against Florida State
Game two of the three game homestand against Wake Forest at 7p. The Demon Deacons (14-6, 6-3) are coming off a 76-67 loss to Virginia.