By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
March 23, 2019
HARTFORD, Conn. (WCTV) -- A trip to the Sweet Sixteen is on the line as the Florida State Seminoles take on the Murray State Racers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State survived the Vermont Catamounts, 76-69, on Thursday while Murray State raced Marquette, 83-64, for their first round win.
The winner will head to Anaheim for the Sweet Sixteen next week. A Seminole victory would mean a second-straight trip to the second weekend in the tournament.
Below will be a running live blog of the game, updated during key timeouts and at the half with stats and analysis. For up-to-the-minute play-by-play and further analysis, be sure you're following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter.
FINAL: 90-62, Florida State
Somewhat mercifully, this game is over. The Noles were incredibly impressive and Murray State...wasn't.
For our full recap, click here.
2nd Half, 6:09, 75-53 Florida State
FSU has held Murray State scoreless for 2:08 and the Racers have hit just one of their last nine field goals (though, the scoreless drought could change as the Racers have free throws once play commences).
FSU is shooting 52.6 percent from the floor this half but have yet to hit a three (not that it matters much).
2nd Half, 11:37, 70-49 Florida State
We've reached "Anthony Polite putback dunk," mode of this game.
2nd Half, 15:49, 60-40 Florida State
The score is 100 percent indicative of how dominant Florida State has been. Between the end of last half and the beginning of this one, Murray State was held without a field goal for nearly eight minutes of game time.
The one thing FSU is doing differently this half is getting to the free throw line, and a lot of that is own Terance Mann, who is working against bodies as he puts the ball up to get to the line.
All systems are firing for Florida State to start the back 20.
HALFTIME: 50-34 Florida State
Florida State controlled every part of the final 10 or so minutes of the half and kept Murray State from hitting a field goal in the final 4:46 of the half.
FSU shot 51.3 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from three while holding the Racers to a 40 percent field goal percentage from the floor.
Gray and Kabengele have each scored 11 for FSU while Terance Mann has 10.
1st Half, 3:06, 46-32 Florida State
Not going to lie, I thought this game was going to be a lot closer but it feels like the Noles have already shut Murray State down from having any chance in coming back (shooting nearly 53 percent from the floor can do that, though).
FSU has made five of their last seven shots.
1st Half, 7:12, 37-26 Florida State
FSU keeps pushing the pace and keeps knocking shots down; the Noles are shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 70 percent from three.
PJ Savoy has checked and has hit two quick three's.
Murray State hasn't had much production outside of Morant and six points from Shaq Buchanan.
1st Half, 9:50, 29-23 Florida State
FSU is in the midst of a 15-5 run and are getting the performance of a lifetime from RaiQuan Gray, who is 3-for-3 from distance. FSU is also being more protective of the basketball, both in terms of turnovers (they didn't have any in that last stretch) and on the defensive glass, grabbing five since the last timeout.
Morant is still feeling it, and is 4-for-4 with 13 total points, but the Noles are getting back on offense quickly and aren't allowing their backs to get against the wall. Playing with a much faster pace than they were at this time two days ago against the Catamounts.
1st Half, 15:16, 13-7 Murray State
You've heard about him for two days and he's showing why; Ja Morant is already taking the game over, with nine of the first 13 points scored for the Racers and is 3-for-3 from deep.
Florida State is having success on the offensive glass but is struggling on the defensive glass, with just one rebound.
Finally, Murray is being incredibly efficient from the floor, having made four of their first six shots (66.7 shooting percentage) while FSU is getting a lot of close looks but none seem to be falling (3-for-11, 27.3 percent).
Hello, all, and welcome to WCTV's online coverage of the Noles' Round of 32 matchup against Murray State.
The Seminoles are expected to be without their starting forward, Phil Cofer, after receiving word that his father passed away after FSU's win on Thursday.
FSU will also be tasked with holding a reigning conference Player of the Year after dealing with Zion Williams and Anthony Lamb in the ACC tiitle game and the first round of this tournament, respectively. This time, it's Murray State's Ja Morant, who averaged 24.4 points, 10.2 assists and 5.7 rebounds throughout the year.
Here's how the two teams will line up: