LIVE UPDATES: Seminoles survive to advance past UNC Greensboro, 64-54
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WCTV) - The time has come for Florida State to take the court for their first game of the NCAA Tournament as they take on UNC Greensboro from Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
FSU comes into March Madness on something of uneven footing; half of the Seminoles’ six losses have come over their last three games, though they’ve all been mostly competitive, with the exception of a season-ending 10-point loss to Notre Dame, in which the final score made the game seem more competitive than it was.
Since February 27 (FSU’s loss to UNC), the Noles have alternated wins and losses, going 1-2 to close the regular season and 1-1 in their abbreviated ACC Tournament run.
While it may feel uneasy to have played so unevenly, the Seminoles haven’t completely fallen off the cliff in production: Over their four-game winning streak leading into the home stretch, the Noles averaged 85.0 points per game. Since Feb. 27, FSU is averaging 76.0 points per game, around four points below their season average.
FSU played only three non-Power 5 teams this season, going 2-1 with wins over North Florida and Gardner-Webb and a loss to UCF. The bad news, however, is none of those teams were as prolific or as dangers as UNC Greensboro, who has rattled off four-straight wins, including three straight in the Southern Conference Tournament to punch their ticket to Indy.
Below will be a running live blog of today’s game between the Noles and Spartans: We’ll have some game updates, analysis and running thoughts throughout the day. For up-to-the-minute updates, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter. Our Sports Director Ryan Kelly and Will Desautelle will also be active on Twitter during the game and will have you covered as well.
FINAL: FLORIDA STATE 64 - UNC GREENSBORO 54
You can sharpie the Seminoles, who survived a flurry of UNCG comeback attempts but never trailed.
Up next: Colorado. To read our full recap, click here. If you missed anything, Ryan Kelly will break it all down for you tonight on Eyewitness News and Will Desautelle will break the win down further tomorrow.
2nd Half, 3:41: 55-50, FSU
UNC Greensboro has twice pulled within one point but the Noles have yet to surrender the lead.
The first time, at 49-48, Anthony Polite put home a dunk to give the Noles some breathing room.
Then, after an Isaiah Miller free throw pulled the Spartans within 51-50, back-to-back RaiQuan Gray buckets put the Seminoles ahead by four.
FSU is still without a made three and Balsa is playing despite being saddled with four fouls.
2nd Half, 7:37: 49-46, FSU
This is starting to feel a tad familiar, eh?
It’s an 11-4 run for the Spartans, who have hit each of their last three shots to pull within three, again, of the Seminoles.
Since coming out following his third foul, Koprivica has felt absent from the floor when he’s checked back in, and no one is picking up the mantle from where he left off when the Noles were on fire earlier this half.
Oh, and for those of you scoreboard watching, Colorado has taken down Georgetown, 96-73, so they await the winner of this one.
2nd Half, 11:48: 45-35, FSU
For the second-time today, the Seminole defense has held the UNCG offense scoreless for over six minutes of game time, but the Noles were unable to do any major damage on the scoreboard to put this one away.
During the Spartans’ slump, they went 0-for-9, breaking it with a three.
Both Balsa Koprivica and Isaiah Miller have three fouls so far.
2nd Half, 15:41: 40-29, FSU
Keyshaun Langley tied the game at 29-29 with the first bucket of the second half, his fourth three of the game.
Since then, it’s been an 11-0 run for the Seminoles, led by Balsa Koprivica, who is now the second Seminole to score in double figures. In the opening four-plus minutes of the half, Balsa has six points, four rebounds, two blocks and an assist, and has a free-throw coming up once play resumes after he was fouled on a dunk attempt.
HALFTIME: FLORIDA STATE 29 - UNC GREENSBORO 26
What was a 23-7 lead with seven minutes to play in the first half has now become a three-point halftime lead for Florida State, after a furious end to the half by the Spartans that saw them go on a 19-6 run in the closing minutes of the half.
During the stretch, UNCG went 8-for-12 from the floor and have seen their shooting percentage jump from 18.2% at the 11-mintue mark to 35.5% at the break.
The back 20 minutes should be fun. Here are your halftime numbers.
1st Half, 3:39: 25-16, FSU
Well well well, we have ourselves a new ball game.
A 9-0 run, stopped only by an Anthony Polite pull up jumper, by the Spartans have pulled them within single digits at the last media timeout. FSU didn’t do themselves any favor, committing four turnovers over a 3:25 span, three of which came via Balsa Koprivica (two offensive fouls, travel).
The Spartans are starting to find themselves: After starting the game 3-for-18 from the floor, UNCG is now 4-for-their-last-6.
1st Half, 7:26: 21-7, FSU
It started to feel like UNCG may be starting to feel the flow of the game, but that feeling went away very, very quickly.
The Spartans are just 3-for-17 and are either forcing things to happen (hence their seven turnovers so far) or are getting looks and just...not hitting them. A couple of air-balls from corner threes and a couple of missed layups on otherwise wide open looks has made this a long day for UNCG.
On the Seminoles’ side of the ball, they’re shooting 50% from the floor and have put together a 6-0 run over the last 2:39 of game time.
While no Seminole is yet over 10 points, three Noles have multiple buckets to their name (Gray, Koprivica, Ngom).
FSU is also already in the bonus.
1st Half, 11:38: 13-4, FSU
Not a pretty start for either side, but a fast start has greatly benefitted the Seminoles, who lead by nine.
UNCG went over six minutes without scoring a point and have committed five turnovers in the last 6:14 of game time. The Spartans, who came into today shooting over 43% from the floor, are shooting just 18.2%.
The Noles, though, haven’t been incredibly hot either - they’ve been able to muscle their way to the free throw line but haven’t logged a field goal in over three minutes.
1st Half, 17:22: 6-2, FSU
A relatively slow start from Indy, although FSU has had a couple of consecutive successful trips on the offensive end of the floor with easy looks from underneath the basket, leading UNCG to call timeout after a couple of lazy defensive series.
Polite, Gray and Koprivica are the scorers early for the Noles while Isaiah Miller has the only bucket in the early going for the Spartans.
We are under way. Lets have some fun.
Here’s how both sides will line up today:
Seminoles: RayQuan Evans (G), Anthony Polite (G), MJ Walker (G), RaiQuan Gray (F), Balsa Koprivica (C)
Spartans: Keyshaun Langley (G), Isaiah Miller (G), Kaleb Hunter (G), Mohammed Abdusalam (F), Angelo Allegri (F)
Happy Saturday, everybody! This season was quite wonky, for a myriad of reasons, so we were unable to do as many live blogs for basketball games as I would have liked, but we are back in the saddle for the NCAA Tournament in what will hopefully be a long run for the Seminoles.
Before we tip things off today, here’s a reminder that we have a couple of deep-dive previews to sink your teeth into to further breakdown this matchup:
- First, Amanda Ferguson from our sister station, WFMY in Greensboro, answered a few questions to help us get to know the Spartans a bit better and how they match up against the Noles.
- I also took a deep dive into the numbers behind the Seminoles and Spartans that leads me to believe that, if this game plays out the way it should on paper, we are in for a dandy.
- Finally, the aforementioned Mr. Kelly sat down with Ms. Ferguson to give her the lowdown on the Seminoles.
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