Fla St drops 3rd straight in 72-47 loss to Gators

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton knew there would be a lot

of questions surrounding his team this season trying to replace six

key players from the defending Atlantic Coast Conference

champions.

After Wednesday night’s 72-47 loss to No. 6 Florida, Hamilton is

getting a bit more desperate in his search for answers.

”Late in the game, I turned to my assistants and said, `Can we

really be this bad?'” Hamilton related.

And with one of the most highly recruited prep prospects in the

country, Andrew Wiggins, watching the game courtside along with his

parents, former Seminole Mitch Wiggins and his wife, Marita Payne

Wiggins, a Seminole track star and former Olympian.

Other than chanting, ”We want Wiggins,” at halftime there was

little for Florida State fans to cheer.

It took the Gators just 5 minutes to run off a 12-2 lead on the

way to a 35-15 halftime cushion. Kenny Boynton’s layup with 8:57

left gave Florida its largest lead, 62-25.

The Seminoles (4-4) have dropped three straight on their home

court, losing last week to Mercer and No. 14 Minnesota.

But the bashing by Florida is certain to create more heartburn

for Hamilton, who is hoping to replace his departed players with

four freshmen and two junior college transfers. They didn’t have a

shot Wednesday, dropping their fourth straight to the Gators.

”It was very tough when you’re turning the ball over,” junior

forward Okaro White said. ”You can’t get into a good offensive

rhythm. ”

The Seminoles had 22 turnovers and shot 34.8 percent.

Michael Snaer led Florida State with 10 points, all in the

second half. White was 2 of 8 from the field and finished with nine

points and six rebounds.

”We’ve got to find that magic level to play up to our

potential,” Hamilton said.

Florida, which came into the game ranked second nationally in

scoring defense, had the Seminoles baffled from the outset, forcing

13 turnovers in the first half and outrebounding them 21-11.

Florida (7-0) has held five opponents to less than 50 points

this season while taking its fourth straight win over the

Seminoles, who have lost three straight home games after their most

lopsided defeat to Florida since a 96-61 loss in 1999.

Florida State shot 25 percent in the opening half and managed

just three points over the final 8:54.

Boynton and Mike Rosario both scored 14 points to lead

Florida.