By: Kevin Keane | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
November 6, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- "Junkyard defense." It's what the Florida State basketball team has been predicated upon during the tenure of Leonard Hamilton and it's what propelled the Seminoles to a season-opening win over rival Florida, 81-60.
"I thought our veterans did a really good job in the second half. Our defense was excellent, our rebounding, too. I thought our offense allowed us to continue that momentum throughout the game," said Hamilton
FSU's defense held the Gators to just 37 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent behind the arc. The win marked a record five-straight wins over the Gators.
Offensively, PJ Savoy led the 'Noles with 20 points, while MJ Walker looked much improved both offensively and defensively, racking up nine points and nine rebounds.
"I thought we got PJ some good looks and he was able to extend our lead," Hamilton said. "We've had moments in practice when you're out there in shooting drills and you see the ball going in that you could hit those percentages. I thought we did a good job of moving the ball and finding those guys who we thought were really good shooters."
With a young core entering this season, Hamilton wasn't sure what to expect entering this game, but said he saw more of the same consistency like in years past once again tonight.
"You never know if they're absorbing what you're trying to teach. Sometimes fundamentally you're not as consistent as you want to be. Tonight, I thought we were consistent because of our tremendous respect for Florida," he said.
With over 11,000 fans in attendance, FSU kept the Tucker Center rocking despite the 9 p.m. start.
"The fans were amazing tonight. We knew we had to put on a show for them and they didn't disappoint," said PJ Savoy after the game.
FSU, now 1-0 on the season, will head to Tulane to face the Green Wave on Sunday