Preview: FSU looks to rebound from 1st loss when hosting Charleston Southern
Time: 7 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The No. 19 Florida State men’s basketball team returns home to play in the Donald L. Tucker Center for the first time in 11 days on Monday — but they won’t be chasing history.
The Seminoles went on a two-game road trip with an 8-0 record and off to the second-best start in school history behind only the 2003-04 team that started 10-0 before losing.
Had they won both games during the road trip, Monday’s home game against Charleston Southern would have been a shot to go 11-0 and break the previous best start.
But Oklahoma State ruined that.
The Cowboys got a last-second tip-in to beat Florida State 71-70 on Saturday in the Orange Bowl Classic as the Seminoles (9-1) dropped their first game of the season.
After the unbeaten start was over, Florida State guard Terance Mann downplayed how close the team came to tying — and possibly breaking — the record.
“There are a lot of games left and we know the ACC is a long season,” said Mann, who leads the Seminoles in scoring at 16 points per game. “Anything can happen on any given night. We weren’t too caught up in the streak.”
The Seminoles will now look to rebound from their first defeat of the year against a visiting Buccaneers squad that’s struggling. Charleston Southern (4-5) has dropped three straight games, including a 70-65 loss to Eastern Kentucky on Friday.
“We’ve just gotta learn how to finish,” Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh told the school’s official website after the most recent loss. “We’ve gotta learn how to win.
“This team very easily could be 7-2, but we’re not and you attribute that to some untimely free throw misses and not being able to score late in the game. Those things are correctable.”
Charleston Southern is led in scoring by sophomore guard Christian Keeling at 17.8 points per game. But Keeling could have his work cut out for him against Florida State, which is ranked second in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage defense and third in the ACC in overall field goal percentage defense.
The Seminoles are one of only two teams in the ACC ranked in the top three of both defensive shooting categories.
The Seminoles enter Monday’s game with a 25-game home court winning streak — the third longest in college basketball. Florida State has won each of its games inside the Donald L. Tucker Center since Feb. 27, 2016.
The Seminoles’ game against the Buccaneers will mark the sixth consecutive season and seventh time since 2011 that the two teams have met. This is their 11th meeting in series history. Florida State leads 10-0.