Seminoles End Michigan's Season

Torrid shooting by the home team and careless turnovers on behalf of the Michigan Wolverines led to their 87-66 loss at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles in the second round of the NIT.

The road woes that have plagued Michigan all season long reared their ugly heads again Thursday night versus Florida State. Early on, though, things appeared headed in a different direction.

The Wolverines came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders from the perimeter. Lester Abram got things going by nailing a triple on his way to scoring the game’s first five points. Minutes later, Jerret Smith connected from behind the arc, and Dion Harris followed that up with two more three-pointers to give Michigan a 16-8 lead at the 14:33 mark. Then the visitors went cold.

The Maize & Blue scored only one field goal over the next nine minutes, thanks in part to the turnovers caused by the Seminoles intense ball pressure. Meanwhile Florida State began to find the mark offensively, outscoring the Wolverines 12-3 over the same period to take a 20-19 lead with 5:13 remaining.

After Harris regained the lead for his squad with a jumper, Isaiah Swann erupted for eight straight points, including his second and third triples of the half, to push the home team back out front, 28-23. Ekpe Udoh pulled the Wolverines back within two with a big and-one putback, but that’s as close as the Wolverines would get. The Seminoles outscored Michigan, 12-4 down the stretch to head into the break with a 41-30 advantage.

When the two teams emerged from the locker room, the home team picked up right where it left off. The Seminoles nailed their first seven field goals after the intermission, compared to only one by the Wolverines over the same period. When the dust settled, Florida State had built a 57-36 lead with 14:47 to go and they would never look back. They went on to win the contest by the same margin, 87-66.

The 21 turnovers that the Wolverines committed on the night led to 34 points for the Seminoles. After the contest, Michigan headman Tommy Amaker singled that out as the key to the game.

"Their athleticism, quickness and speed were certainly the difference,” he said. “It caused us to cough up the ball. We weren't as tough as you would like to think we should be and need to be in a situation like this. That was definitely the key. We didn't handle their pressure. We got off to a good start and I think they turned it up and went to another gear and really knocked us on our heels. We looked like we were treading water for a long time there. The turnovers – the jail breaks as we like to call them – and the transition they were able to get on us, we were not able to overcome that."

On the game, the Wolverines were led by Dion Harris’ 15 points. Isaiah Swann and Tony Douglas each scored 15 as well to lead five Seminoles in double figures. For more on the game, click the following links: Boxscore, Notes & Quotes.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories