FGCU comes up short in tournament

Tricia Pearson
March 17, 2017

The only time FSU women have been ranked higher in an NCAA Tournament was No. 2 in 2015. They made the Seminoles earn it.

Jarquez Smith has been waiting to make his NCAA Tournament debut for four years.

It was not almost as easy as the final score indicated though.

This team has some size, with bigger guards and rotation bigs who line up at 6-7, 6-8, and 6-9. FSU is averaging 82.5 points per game, the most by a Hamilton squad.

After the break, Terrence Mann became more aggressive.

Still, it's likely the team will shoot a much better percentage from outside the arc.

This is no longer a real game, it is now a dunk contest.

The Seminoles led by as many as 12 points late in the second half, then survived an FGCU rally in the game's final few minutes. The 'Noles only hit 2 of 13, while FGCU hit 8 of 28 (not a good percentage, but it's a +18 margin from deep).

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Waiting for the Wildcats on Saturday will be the Saint Mary's Gaels, who handled the VCU Rams, 85-77, in their 7-10 matchup. What's also nice is that each game will have a graphic on the top of the screen telling you the scores in the other games.

Ultimately, a Bacon free-throw was enough to seal the game. In fact, he only took one in the first half (naturally, he missed because FSU doesn't do the whole 3-point shooting thing very well) and instead was attacking the basket as relentlessly as he has all season. He also brought down nine rebounds, dished out two assists and stole the ball twice. Jonathan Isaac showcased - on both ends of the court - why the National Basketball Association scouts are salivating. On just eight shot attempts.

"Everybody that's a competitor, when you go against a guy at your position or you're matched up with somebody who is supposed to be their best player", Chiozza said, "you're going to take it personal".

Florida State's Jonathan Isaac speaks to media on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Past year the Seminoles also entered the tournament struggling. Nerves had to be running high. The sophomore center's defense (he had four monstrous blocks) and finishing near the rim were huge in the second half. The biggest Seminoles stepped up, with 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje scoring seven, his most in three months, and 7-foot-1, 304-pound Michael Ojo adding six points, all in the first half.

And it was great to see this Bacon again. He may be a very important piece going forward. "We know our identity as a team, and we knew we had to regroup because, at the end of the first half, we slacked on defense".

Florida will meet No. 5 seed Virginia on Saturday in the round of 32. Thursday's game will be played in Orlando.

They'll lose Morant, and Marc-Eddy Norelia, but in their place pick up a pair of 6-foot-10 guys in MI transfer Ricky Doyle, and Miami transfer Michael Gilmore becomes eligible in December. Xavier defeated No. 6 seed Maryland, 76-65 and will look to advance to the Sweet 16 for a sixth time in 10 years.

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