The Yellow Jackets blistered the nets in the first half connecting on 15 of 20 shots for 68%. Lewis was a perfect 7 of 7 from the floor over the first twenty minutes that included four three-point shots.
Leonard Hamilton did not fault his team's effort. Tech deserved credit for such torrid shooting. However, the head coach felt there were some poor reads on defense that led to easy baskets for the Jackets. Apparently, the reads improved as FSU held Tech to only 26% shooting in the second half.
But for Hamilton the story of the game was free throw shooting. Despite not making one basket over the last 7:30, Tech converted 21 of 22 attempts over that span. Although FSU shot well from the line as well, they just could not get to the line with the regularity the Jackets did. The Noles' shot 13 of 14 free throws compared to Tech's 28 of 31 overall.
Leading the way for the Seminoles was Anthony Richardson with a career high 20 points. Richardson had a scary moment when he went down with a knee injury with just under three minutes left in the game. He did return however a couple of minutes later to record his twentieth points. Tim Pickett was the only other Seminole in double figures with 13 points before he fouled out late in the game.
Complimenting Lewis was B.J. Elder with 14 points. Freshman Chris Bosh had his seventh double double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Nate Johnson started the scoring with a three pointer shortly after tipoff. By the time Picket converted a steal into a layup for the Seminoles' fifth point, Lewis had already scored eight of Tech's ten points. Isma'il Muhammed added two free throws for a 12-5 Tech lead just five minutes into the game. Sloppy play accented FSU's play as they committed five turnovers in that span.
Picket answered with a transition three-pointer and Mike Mathews added a couple of baskets to close the score to 16-12. Adam Waleskowski sank a pair of shots to keep FSU close. Benson Callier made a nice assist to Trevor Harvey at the 8:00 mark and the Noles' were still down 24-20.
Lewis went off again scoring five of Tech's next ten points. Mathews managed to connect on another shot, but in only two minutes, FSU was now down 34-22, the largest deficit of the game. An airball by Ed Nelson seemed to ignite the Seminoles. The miss resulted in a transition three by Pickett. Richardson connected on four free throws. With 2:19 left in the half, the 9-0 run pulled the Noles' to within three points, 34-31.
But, with just twenty-five seconds left, the bottom fell out. Harvey got caught in a double screen and Bosh had the easy layup. Elder connected on the three ball and Lewis launched a Hail Mary as the buzzer sounded with Callier's hand in his face. The lightning quick barrage gave Tech a 42-31 halftime lead.
FSU worked their way back once again in the second half. Unlike the Maryland game, the Noles' were able to work the ball inside better. All but one of the Seminoles' baskets were from close proximity to the rim. Richardson's whirling slash off the pass from Waleskowski made the score 52-49. Less than twelve minutes remained in the game.
And Lewis went off again. Following Elder's free throw, Lewis hit back to back threes. Bosh added a pair of free throws. Muhammed converted the last basket Tech would make. Elder added two more free throws and FSU was down 65-53 at the 6:57 mark.
The Seminoles made another run scoring the game's next eight points. Richardson made two pairs of free throws sandwiched around baskets by Johnson and Pickett. The run began as Lewis hit the bench with his forth foul. Coincidentally, it ended when Lewis reentered the game right after Richardson's second pair.
In the last 4:41, Tech found a way to get to the line often. FSU could not. Tech just would not miss and the lead grew to eleven a couple of times. The Noles' did make it interesting though when Callier connected on back to back three-pointers and Johnson added another one. But, there was far too little time left and Tech just kept making free throws.
Florida State falls to 9-5 overall and 0-3 in the ACC. It was the tenth straight road loss in league play for the Noles'. FSU hopes to log its first ACC win Saturday night as they return home to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Tipoff is set for 8:00 PM.