LIVE BLOG: Florida State opens NCAA Tournament against Vermont

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
March 21, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. (WCTV) -- The Road to the Final Four officially began for Florida State on Thursday afternoon as they defeated the University of Vermont in the Round of 64.

Below is the running live blog kept during the Noles' win over UVM featuring play by play, updates and analysis.

For live, up-to-the-minute updates, be sure you're following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter.


FINAL: Florida State 76 - Vermont 69


FSU was able to outlast the Catamounts, thanks mostly to timely shooting on the Noles end and some sloppy play on offense from the Cats.

Thanks for joining us and we'll be back with coverage for the Noles' second-round game on Thursday. In the mean time, >here's our full recap.

2nd Half, 2:12, 66-58 Florida State


The Noles have yet to lead by double figures, but they've led for nearly half of this second half and aren't allowing Vermont to make a run to of their own, despite them shooting 50 percent from three.

The big stat here; the Cats are 7-for-13 from the free throw line and have been in the bonus since the eight-minute mark.

2nd Half, 4:27, 59-51 Florida State


Apologies for missing the media timeout last time, but we are back this time.

Florida State is continuing to attempt to will themselves to a win, thanks in large part to Terance Mann, who has scored three of the Noles last six field goals and has 14 points.

The two main men for Vermont, Lamb and Shungu, are in a bit of foul trouble - both with three fouls - but also each have 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Cats haven't been very crisp with the basketball over the last several minutes, though.

Both teams are in the bonus (FSU is in the double bonus) for the remainder of regulation.

2nd Half, 9:01, 50-45 Florida State


This feels like the run we've been waiting for from Florida State.

While they aren't up by double figures yet (in fact, a five-point lead ties their largest of the game), they're causing havoc for UVM on defense and are turning that into opportunity on the offensive end. We're approaching a three-minute scoring drought for UVM, but they've been without a field goal for nearly four minutes.

2nd Half, 11:43, 44-43 Florida State


It feels like Vermont, who entered this game averaging just eight three pointers per contest, is starting to hedge their bet with their success from deep.

However, they are starting to have success underneath with getting whistles when going up with the ball. This actually is boding well for FSU, though, with the Cats having made just three field goals so far.

Florida State is doing just enough to keep their heads above water this half, and tore off a mini-run with a Nichols three and a Mann dunk, but have yet to have a stretch where it starts to feel like they're really taking control of the game.

2nd Half, 15:46, 36-35 Vermont


A back and forth second half in the early stages, with Vermont clinging to a one-point lead.

Ben Shungu is starting to take the game over (or, at least, is trying) for Vermont and is the first scorer for either side to log 10 points.

The Noles are 3-for-6 from the floor in the early going and have a couple of free throws courtesy of Trent Forrest to pull FSU within a point.

It'll be FSU ball after a Shungu turnover out of the timeout.

HALFTIME, Tied at 27-27


20 minutes are in the books from Hartford, and the Seminoles and Catamounts are tied at 27-27.

Florida State hit just one bucket, for two points, over the final 4:30ish of the half, but in that span the Cats only gained six points on the Seminoles. It was a Trent Forrest jumper that ended the scoring drought for FSU.

In the leadup to this game, our Kevin Keane discussed how the Noles don't have one go-to guy and it's showed so far this afternoon - guys have made key shots at key moments, but the leading scorer is Kabengele, who has seven. However, that plays into where FSU is finding success today; attacking the rim. The size difference is no joke and when the Noles are working the ball to the basket, they're getting shots to fall.

FSU ends the half shooting 31 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three, compared to UVM's 38.5 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent from deep. The one saving grace, for now, for FSU is going 7-for-9 from the free throw line. UVM has just two free throw attempts, enither of them fell.

1st Half, 3:33, 25-25


Well, this has been fun.

After a scoring drought that spanned 5:30ish and a 14-0 scoring run by the Noles, Anthony Lamb - the man you heard about in all of your pregame reading and listening - nailed a three to snap the streak and now the Noles and Cats are trading blows.

Each team is in the bonus, but Vermont is struggling to take advantage of those opportunities, having missed both attempted free throws so far.

Couple of stats to look out for - UVM is still winning the rebounding battle, 15-14, and their shooting percentage is back over 40 percent (42.9) and they're 7-for-10 from three.

1st Half, 7:53, 17-16, Florida State


It's a 10-0 run for Florida State as they have their first lead of the ballgame.

Anthony Lamb has been quiet on the statsheet, with just three points, but he's trying to break through by creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Over the last five-plus minutes, Vermont has no points and committed four turnovers, including the last travel call that sent the game to the under-eight media timeout.

The Cats are starting to go cold as well, seeing their shooting percentage fall to 37.5 percent. UVM is winning the rebounding battle thus far, 11-8. The Cats have also boxed out the Noles well, allowing FSU just one offensive rebound while UVM has three.

1st Half, 11:41, 16-12, Vermont


The Catamounts are moving the ball with ease and are having success from the floor, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor (that'd be a better mark if not for a couple of missed putbacks right in front of the rim) and are shooting 66.7 percent fro three, including a 2-for-2 start for Ernie Duncan.

The Noles are doing just enough to hang around early, including a big three to pull within three points (at the time) from David Nichols. FSU is shooting 50 percent from the floor, but aren't getting a ton of looks (5-for-10). They are perfect from three, however.

1st Half, 15:59, 7-4, Vermont


A quick start for the Catamounts, who are shooting 50 percent from the floor and have forced a couple of early turnovers from the Seminoles.

In the early going, FSU is settling for short-range jumpers instead of getting it inside to their big men, especially Christ Koumadje.

An early change already, as Raiquan Gray, who was in the starting five, is already out for M.J. Walker.

Pregame


Hello, everyone and welcome to WCTV's online coverage of the Noles' NCAA Tournament. Tip off is in about 10 minutes so sit back, relax and lets see what the Noles can get done today.

The big pre-game news for FSU is PJ Savoy in the Noles' starting line up. Phil Cofer wasn't dressed for warmups.





 
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