TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Wearing all-gold uniforms with garnet trim, Junior forward Xavier Gibson and the FSU men's basketball team ran away with a blowout victory Tuesday night... Gibson scored 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds and freshman Ian Miller scored 16 points on four made 3-point shots to lead Florida State to a 108-51 victory over Mid-Continent University at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The win improved the Seminoles’ exhibition record to 2-0 and set them up for their season opener against North Florida on Friday at 8:30.
Gibson, who shots nearly 55 percent from the field for his career, made seven of 11 shots from the field (.636 percent) and was a nearly perfect six of seven from the free throw line (.857) in scoring his game-high 20 points. He came within one rebound of a double-double as he scored 20 points in 20 minutes played in the Seminoles’ victory.
Gibson was followed in the scoring column by Miller (16 points) and junior Bernard James (12) as 12 of the 14 Seminoles who earned playing time scored at least two points. In addition to the three Seminoles in double figures, six other Seminoles scored at least seven points: sophomore All-America candidate Michael Snaer and junior guard Luke Loucks scored nine points each while senior Derwin Kitchen, junior Deividas Dulkys and sophomore Pierre Jordan scored eight points each.
Florida State once again played well defensively as the held the Cougars to 27 percent shooting from the field, blocked seven shots and was credited with 10 steals. The Seminoles also win the rebounding battle (48-32).
“I was happy with our (defensive) effort,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton. “I thought we could do a little better job contesting. That is really picking when you hold a team to 27-percent (shooting from the field). But I think I would like to be a little sharper on the close-outs; we gave up some penetration on the first dribble which allowed them to start their offense right past half court in the right position. I do feel like we are capable of correcting all of those areas.”
Offensively, the Seminoles were hitting on all cylinders. In scoring 108 points, Florida State shot nearly 58 percent from the field, made 11 of 24 3-point field goals (46 percent) and were nearly perfect from the free throw line (15 of 19, 80 percent). It marked the second time in two exhibition games that Florida State shot at least 57 percent from the field and made at least 11 3-point field goals. The Seminoles averaged 101.5 points per game in winning their two exhibition games against Rollins College and Mid Continent.
“We entered into the end of our practice session wanting to be a little more aggressive; more of an up-tempo basketball team,” said Hamilton. “We wanted to get out and push the ball without making mistakes. I think tonight we showed a little more of a running mentality.”
Florida State’s trio of newcomers played well in their second exhibition outing.
Miller, James and freshman Okaro White combined to score 33 points, pull down 17 rebounds and shoot 13 of 18 from the field. James was a perfect six of six from the field in scoring 12 points.
“I think what we have learned about ourselves in these exhibition games is that we are fairly deep, pretty athletic and shooting the ball better than we have in the past,” said Hamilton. “I’m still a little concerned with the fact that we are getting the stops, but we aren’t rebounding nearly as well. We are giving up too many offensive rebounds. I also think 17 turnovers are way too many for our team at this stage.
Florida State now opens its regular season Friday against North Florida and embarks on a four game in seven day stretch to open the season. Following its season opener against North Florida, the Seminoles travel to play at UNC Greensboro (Nov. 14), plays host to Gardner Webb (Nov. 18) and travels to play at Florida International (Nov. 18).
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