You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Florida State rises to victory over Davidson in NIT opener


Florida State’s advantage in the paint was never more evident than when Dwayne Bacon wrestled away a defensive rebound, sprinted the length of the court and fed fellow freshman Malik Beasley on the right wing.

Beasley took the pass in stride, rose above Davidson’s undersized defense and threw down a one-handed dunk.

The play stretched the Seminoles’ lead to 12 with just less than five minutes remaining and in essence sealed the Seminoles’ 84-74 victory over the Wildcats Tuesday in the first round of the NIT at the Tucker Center.

FSU (20-13) next will play at No. 1 seed Valparaiso (27-6) Thursday at 7 p.m. Valparaiso defeated Texas Southern 84-73 late Tuesday.

Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton, whose team ended any chances of earning an NCAA tournament bid with a late-season, five-game losing streak, believes the longer the NIT run the better for his young team.

“This is a unique opportunity for us,” Hamilton said. “They’ll learn and grow. Each time you have an experience like that you gain wisdom.”

The Seminoles are hoping to repeat their 2014 NIT performance when they advanced to the semifinals at New York’s Madison Square Garden. This year, though, they would like to win two more games. FSU lost to Minnesota in the 2014 semis.

This is FSU’s third trip to the NIT in the last four years and first time in the postseason since 2014.

The game was decided in the paint where the Seminoles outscored Davidson 48-24. That size advantage extended to the boards where FSU held a 44-28 advantage.

“We knew we could dribble drive and we got a lot of paint touches,” Beasley said.

Bacon led FSU with 23 points followed by Beasley’s 21. No other FSU players were in double figures. The Seminoles had five players with at least five rebounds, led by Beasley’s nine.

“They’re pretty darn big, they’re pretty darn athletic,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said about the two players who were voted to the ACC’s all-freshman team.

“They’re spoken about in NBA circles. They’re future NBA players.”

Bacon (6-foot-7) and Beasley (6-5) are big compared to McKillop’s team. The Wildcats start two forwards at 6-8 and 6-7, and three guards who average just more than 6-feet, including leading scorer Jack Gibbs, who entered averaging 23.7 points but had a quiet 17 in which he missed nine of his first 10 shots.

“We rotated a lot of people on him,” guard Devon Bookert said. “He had to use a lot of energy to try to get open, try to get shots.”

Davidson, from the Atlantic 10, ends its season 20-13.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Miami baseball misses postseason for first time in 45 years; Florida State to host regional
Miami baseball misses postseason for first time in 45 years; Florida State to host regional

Florida State's streak of regional appearances is now the nation's longest, coming at the expense of the University of Miami.  The Hurricanes (31-27) are staying home after 44 straight trips to the NCAA postseason. Miami won its pool at the ACC tournament, but the late push was not enough, and the NCAA Selection Committee said the Hurricanes...
Now that Josh McRoberts has opted in, what’s next for him and the Heat?
Now that Josh McRoberts has opted in, what’s next for him and the Heat?

Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat posts up Jordan Clarkson #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game at American Airlines Arena on December 22, 2016 in Miami, Florida.
Miami Dolphins betting big on Julius Thomas at tight end
Miami Dolphins betting big on Julius Thomas at tight end

Can Anthony Fasano be a factor in the passing game? He hasn’t been one in years. (Getty Images) Last year, the Dolphins got minimal receiving production from the tight end position once they lost Jordan Cameron early in the year.
College players with defensive reputations continue to intrigue Miami Heat
College players with defensive reputations continue to intrigue Miami Heat

    Oregon’s Chris Boucher blocks the shot of Cal’s Jabari Bird during a game this season.
WATCH: Twins’ Miguel Sano pranks coach with rubber snake
WATCH: Twins’ Miguel Sano pranks coach with rubber snake

When you’re winning, being loose and having fun in the dugout is natural. The Minnesota Twins are leading the American League Central division with a 27-20 record, even after Sunday’s 8-6, 15-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. >> Read more trending news The players are in a good mood, and so was pitching coach Neil Allen until Miguel...
More Stories