Florida St. centers come up big in 100-86 win over Winthrop
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) A pair of seven-footers ended up having a big night for Florida State.
Michael Ojo recorded the first double-double of his career – 13 points and 10 rebounds (both career highs) – and Christ Koumadje had a career high 14 points as Florida State defeated Winthrop 100-86 on Friday.
''It makes it so much easier. When Ojo and Christ play big-time like that, it opens up so much for us,'' said guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who had seven points and nine assists.
Ojo, a 7-foot-1 senior center, missed last season due to a knee injury. Nine of his points came from the line, where he has struggled in the past. Ojo made only 40.2 percent of his foul shots his first three years but was 9 of 12 on Friday and is making 75 percent (12 of 16) for the season.
''When I came back after my rehab this is one of the things I've been working on consistently,'' Ojo said. ''This year I feel like I have to make them to leave something behind to be remembered about.''
Koumadje, a 7-foot-4 sophomore who is the tallest player in Seminoles' history, got the first double-digit scoring game of his career as he was 7 of 8 from the field. During a 10-0 run in the first half that allowed FSU to take a 31-19 lead, he had a pair of alley-oop dunks off assists by Rathan-Mayes and Dwayne Bacon.
''Christ runs the lane so well, he's the tallest guy on our team and probably one of the fastest,'' Rathan-Mayes said. ''He puts so much pressure on defenses when he plays like that, when he plays with confidence and, like I said, he just opens up the floor for us.''
Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles (3-0) with 15 points while Jonathan Isaac added 14 and Braian Angola-Rodas 11. The combination of Ojo and Koumadje allowed the Seminoles to have a 50-32 points-in-the-paint advantage.
Winthrop (2-1) steadily whittled down the lead and got within 58-54 five minutes into the second half on a Fisher free throw before FSU went on a 9-0 run.
''I thought we settled down in second half, defended a lot better and executed well. We wore them down with our depth,'' Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Xavier Cooks led the Eagles (2-1) with 23 points while Bjorn Broman added 16 and Roderick Perkins 11.
Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey said he thought Florida State's size ended up wearing them down. By the five-minute mark of the second half the Eagles had four players in foul trouble.
''We were close enough to be semi dangerous in the second half. We missed some open looks and at the same time they keep coming at you,'' he said.
Winthrop: Non-conference road games have been difficult for the Eagles. They have dropped 20 of their last 27 and 36 of their last 54 overall road games.
Florida State: The Seminoles showed off their depth as 11 players played within the first 10 minutes with eight scoring. Ojo and Koumadje played a combined 12 minutes in Tuesday's 21-point win over Iona but played 30 on Friday.
It is only the fifth time in a regular-season game in Hamilton's 15 seasons that the Seminoles have scored in triple figures. The last time was a 109-62 victory over Nicholls State in last year's opener.
HE SAID IT
''It's like getting a couple root canals playing against their talent and athleticism,'' Kelsey on Florida State.
Winthrop: The Eagles conclude a three-game road trip on Monday against Illinois. It is the fourth time in the past five years they are facing a Big Ten team.
Florida State: The Seminoles host Detroit Mercy on Sunday. This marks the first time since 1994 that they are facing the Titans.
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