FSU Suffers Its First Defeat

The Seminoles lost their first game of the season in the ACC/Big 10 challenge.

Calling it a "lackluster performance", Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles suffered its first defeat of the season falling to Northwestern 73-59.

Holding a 36-33 halftime lead, Chris Singleton's three ball from the right corner made it 39-33 very early in the second half.

Too bad the game could not have been stopped there because it was all downhill from there for FSU as it was pretty much a tale of two different halves.

Florida State shot 56% in the first twenty minutes while the Wildcats had the looks at the basket but were cold shooting just 33% from the floor. Those numbers just about reversed in the second half.

Fueled by four turnovers and a five point run by Ivan Peljusic in the span of just over three minutes, the ‘Noles found themselves down 49-44 with just less than fifteen minutes remaining.

It only continued to deterioate from there. Indicative of the sloppy play by FSU was when play resumed out of a Hamilton called timeout to settle his team down. Instead no one noticed the shot clock was winding down and FSU was called for the violation.

Playing with the lead, the Wildcats only grew more patient on offense and built an even larger lead while the Seminoles increased their number of turnovers, 21 in all.

Hamilton obviously was unhappy with his team's performance saying "we self-destructed tonight. We got out-executed tonight", he added.

Northwestern ran its Princeton style offense almost flawlessly in the second half. And on defense the 1-3-1 zone defense the Wildcats used in the first half with FSU leading 15-11 caused numerous problems and indecision on the part of the ‘Noles that they never seemed to recover from.

Hamilton noticed as well. "Even though we were leading at the half we really did not play well and really I've not been satisfied all year" said the coach. "We lost our concentration defensively and our turnovers on offense against their soft press were almost unforced."

It was just one of those nights where we were out of sync offensively. Then in the second half we lost our defensive focus as well."

Hamilton did not feel the team had lost its legs what with playing eight games in eighteen days. "The small lineup Northwestern used forced us into a small lineup to our disadvantage", Hamilton said.

Leading the way for the ‘Noles was Douglas with 21 points. However the senior guard had a game high seven turnovers. Luke Loucks added six miscues of his own. It was not a good night of ball handling for the FSU guards. Uche Echefu added 14 points.

Northwestern was led by Craig Moore (20), Kevin Coble (15), and Peljusic (10).

Reflecting the Northwestern's efficiency on offense, the Wildcats had 18 assists to just 13 turnovers.

On the bright side the ACC remained undefeated in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and is now 10-0. North Carolina's dismantling of Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit sealed the series with the ACC winning 6-5.

Up next for FSU is a home game against Billy Donovan's team. The game will be telecast nationally on FSN. Tip off is at 6:00 PM on Sunday.

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