Kenneth Smith had 16 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes for Louisiana Tech (29-8).
"He's phenomenal," White said. "Speedy is the best passer in college basketball. He's probably the toughest kid I've ever coached."
Cordarius Johnson added 11 points for Louisiana Tech.
White finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. But when he sat down with his fourth foul at the 15:57 mark, Louisiana Tech led 45-44.
The Bulldogs then went on a 6-0 run to go up 51-44 on free throws by Smith and layups by Kenyon McNeail. FSU chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead and went ahead for good, 63-60, on Ian Miller's 3-pointer with 7:21 left.
Montay Brandon had six points in the final 5:39 to help FSU hang on.
The Seminoles shot 26 of 58 (44.8 percent) from the floor. The Bulldogs made just 26 of 73 (35.6 percent) of their shots from the floor.
FSU didn't make the NCAA tournament, something that disappointed Hamilton and the Seminoles. Last year, FSU played in the NIT but was knocked off in the first round at home by Louisiana Tech. This time, FSU players talked of turning a negative into a positive and making a deep run in the NIT.
"Even though we didn't make the NCAA, we wanted to come into the NIT and still play with that toughness and try to win it," Thomas said.