Braian Angola, CJ Walker lift FSU over Loyola-Maryland to remain undefeated

Florida State Seminoles guard CJ Walker (2) shoots against Loyola Greyhounds guard River Reed (11) during the second half.
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State didn’t have much time to savor Monday’s win at fifth-ranked Florida.

The Seminoles were playing their second game in three nights but did not have a letdown as they defeated Loyola-Maryland 96-71 on Wednesday.

The win improves to Florida State to 8-0, which is the first time that has happened since the 2003-04 seasons, they it won its first 10 games. All but one of the victories has been by 17 points or more.

“Overall I’m pleased,” coach Leonard Hamilton said. “This game gave us what we needed. Part of developing is sometimes you have to overcome the mental challenges of having an emotional victory, recharge and do it again.”

Florida State got off to a fast start, scoring 8 of the first 10 points. It went up by double digits (17-6) on a Phil Cofer dunk with 15:12 remaining and would lead 46-31 at halftime. The Seminoles led by as many as 26 (84-58) on a Cofer jumper with 6:33 remaining.

“I knew we were tired coming into the game but after Monday everyone was focused on the next game and moving on,” said Cofer, who scored 12 points.

Braian Angola led Florida State with 18 points, CJ Walker added 15 and M.J. Walker 14, including four 3-pointers, before fouling out.

It is the second time this season Angola has led the team in scoring. The 6-foot-6 senior guard had 21 points in a win over Citadel on Nov. 24. Despite the quick turnaround, the Seminoles shot a season best 57.6 percent from the field (34 of 59). They also had 11 3-pointers, marking the third time this season they have had 11 or more in a game.

Chuck Champion and Isaiah Hart each scored 15 points for the Greyhounds (1-7), who have lost four straight. Loyola had a 44-34 advantage in points in the paint but was just 29 of 72 from the field, including 3 of 18 on 3-pointers.

“It was a tough matchup for us. You can’t win on the road when we can’t make open shots,” said coach G.G. Smith. “I thought somehow might overlook us but they were ready to go and beat us up pretty good today.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Loyola-Maryland: Cam Gregory, who came into the game 10th in the nation in offensive rebounds at 4.0 per game, was held without an offensive board in the first half but finished with three. He had eight rebounds total.

Florida State: The Seminoles have won 25 straight at home, which is the third-longest winning streak in the nation. They have won their four games at the Tucker Center this season by an average of 24.8 points.

COFER ON A ROLL

Cofer, who had scored in double figures only seven times in 76 games the first three years of his career, has six in the first eight this season.

The 6-foot-8 senior forward is averaging 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds over the past five games. He is making 62 percent of his shots from the field (31 of 50) and is 5 of 7 on 3-ponters.

UP NEXT

Loyola-Maryland: Hosts Binghamton on Saturday.

Florida State: Faces Tulane on Sunday in Tampa, Florida.