No. 11 FSU overcomes sluggish start to take care of visiting Troy

Senior guard Terance Mann is 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career, he led Florida State with eight rebounds in the win over Troy.
Glenn Beil

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton keeps saying his team is a work in progress. Part of the equation now is learning to handle high expectations.

P.J. Savoy scored 16 points, knocking down four 3-pointers, and No. 11 Florida State shook off a sluggish performance to put away Troy 83-67 on Monday night.

Florida State won despite a rough night for leading scorer Terance Mann. The Seminoles also committed 17 turnovers.

“We have to learn to adjust to being a highly ranked team and getting everybody’s best effort,” Hamilton said. “That’s a new place for this team. We’re trying to get to a place that we never have been. Sometimes trying to get there when you’ve never been there before is challenging.”

Savoy readily admitted focus was a problem Monday. The Seminoles (7-1) were playing Troy in what amounted to a trap game — sandwiched between a matchup against Purdue last week and a road trip coming up to face UConn.

“That’s one of our challenges,” Savoy said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get up for games that aren’t big-name, you know? But Coach harps on us about bringing the energy every day, no matter who we’re playing.”

Troy (3-5) nearly made Florida State pay, trimming its lead to 42-40 after B.J. Miller‘s 3-pointer with 17:16 left. But the Seminoles quickly went on a 13-2 run, which started with a 3 by Savoy, and maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the second half.

Savoy had gone 5 of 24 from beyond the 3-point arc in his previous five games. But on Monday, he was 4 of 10 — including 3 for 6 in the second half.

“Just guys finding me when I’m open,” Savoy said. “They allowed me to catch them in rhythm and knock them down.”

M.J. Walker added 14 points, while Trent Forrest had 13 points and five rebounds for the Seminoles, who had just 13 assists against those 17 turnovers.

The Trojans were worse, recording only 10 assists while committing a season-high 22 turnovers. Jordon Varnado scored 15 points and Darian Adams had a career-high 14.

Troy was 23 for 52 (44.2 percent) from the field. A few nights after the Trojans had 19 turnovers in a loss to Austin Peay, miscues again were a problem.

“We thought we could get into our offense just because those wings are so big,” coach Phil Cunningham said. “Sometimes you can out-quick those guys. But in person they were quicker and a little more physical than I thought they were. I thought the press wore our guards down.”

Mfiondu Kabengele came off the bench to score 10 points and contribute seven rebounds for Florida State, which shot 29 of 69 (42 percent) from the floor.

Mann, a senior guard who averages 12.3 points per game, scored just three on 1-of-6 shooting. He led Florida State with eight rebounds and is 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Florida State is 35-2 at home since November 2016. That includes an 18-0 mark in 2016-17, a 13-2 record last season and a 4-0 mark this season. The Seminoles have also won 29 straight nonconference home games.

UP AND DOWN FROM 3

Troy came in averaging 32 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc but missed on all eight first-half attempts. The Trojans were far better in the second half, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Seminoles likely didn’t make much of an argument for moving up in the poll, but they could get into the top 10 with an impressive showing against UConn on Saturday.

BIG PICTURE

Troy: The Trojans had a chance to pull off the upset but were undone by turnovers and didn’t have enough push late once they closed the deficit early in the second half.

Florida State: Even on a night when the Seminoles were struggling, their depth was too much for Troy to handle. Florida State scored 31 bench points.

UP NEXT

Troy hosts Carver College on Wednesday.

Florida State plays UConn in New Jersey on Saturday.