No. 25 Florida St. 79, Stetson 66

Florida State’s deep and athletic frontcourt was simply too much

for Stetson to overcome Wednesday night.

Okaro White scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half,

leading the 25th-ranked Seminoles to a 79-66 victory over the

Hatters.

”We weren’t playing too good,” White said. ”We started off

good and let them come back, so I challenged myself to go out

there, give it all I got and that’s what gave me that extra boost

in the second half.”

Powered by White and Bernard James, who had 15 points and 11

rebounds for his second consecutive double-double, the Seminoles

shot 57.1 percent (32 of 56) from the field.

Florida State (3-0) also got some timely baskets from Deividas

Dulkys, who went 6 for 6 from the floor and finished with 16

points.

Joel Narburgs scored 14 for Stetson (2-1), which went 10 for 33

from 3-point range. J.R. Weston and Chris Perez had 11 points

apiece.

FSU made its first seven shots to build a 17-7 lead, then put

together a 9-0 run later in the first half to make it 33-14 with

6:48 left.

Stetson responded by knocking down four 3-pointers during a 16-0

run that cut the deficit to 33-30 with 2:22 left in the first

half.

”We didn’t go into the game saying, `Hey we’re just going to

let it fly,”’ Stetson coach Casey Alexander said. ”But that is

part of what we do and we’re always going to take them when they’re

available to us.”

Stetson’s long-range success frustrated Florida State, which led

the nation in field-goal percentage defense the past two

seasons.

”We knew they were a really good 3-point shooting team,” James

said. ”We didn’t want to allow them a lot of 3s. We didn’t do a

very good job of that. … People want to shoot, they’re going to

shoot but we wanted every shot to be contested and I think we

struggled with that.”

Stetson closed to 48-41 with 17:24 left in the game. But the

Seminoles were more aggressive on defense in the second half and

didn’t allow the Hatters to get any closer.

”Our guys got the stops we had to when the game was on the

line,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. ”To go where we

need to go we need to be more consistent.”

The Seminoles have won six straight games against teams from

Florida: a sweep of Jacksonville, Central Florida and Stetson this

season as well as victories over Miami (twice) and Stetson last

season. The Seminoles have won 17 straight against Stetson overall,

dating to 1975.

Florida State’s forwards overwhelmed Stetson inside. The

Hatters’ roster includes just two 6-foot-9 players, Liam McInerney

and Adam Pegg, and the Seminoles used their size advantage to get

baskets in the paint.

James made 7 of 8 shots and White was 8 for 11 from the field,

helping the Seminoles outscore the Hatters 48-26 in the lane.

Michael Snaer added nine points for the Seminoles, who led 42-34

at halftime. Jeff Peterson finished with seven assists and only one

turnover.

Stetson’s Aaron Graham put together a solid all-around game,

collecting 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two

steals.