Florida State snaps 3-game skid; beats Pittsburgh 61-52
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) The emotion of senior day inspired Kiel Turpin and his teammates made sure his final home game was a victory.
Turpin made an emotional speech Friday night in front of the team and then followed it up with one of his best games as he scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds as FSU (16-15, 8-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) halted a three-game losing streak by beating Pittsburgh 61-52 on Saturday.
''This was really an effort inspired by him,'' FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. ''(Friday) night when we had our team meeting, he asked the players to play for him and his family. He's had an up and down career with injuries but he's been a class act. He's very well respected by his teammates, he's an unselfish guy.''
Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting for Florida State, which finished the regular season above .500.
Turpin shot 5 of 6 from the floor and had two blocks, swatting away his second one with 12 seconds left. Hamilton quickly called a timeout to allow Turpin to walk off the floor to a standing ovation.
''This whole week has been difficult emotionally,'' Turpin said. ''Really, I just wanted to play well in front of my family and get a `W.' ''
Jamel Artis had 17 points for Pittsburgh (19-13, 8-10), which has lost three straight games. James Robinson added eight points and nine rebounds. Michael Young, who had scored 22 points in each of Pitt's last three games, struggled in making just 3 of 12 shots for eight points.
Pittsburgh was hoping to get a road win in the regular-season finale to help strengthen its resume. Now Pittsburgh must instead make that argument next week in the ACC tournament.
Montay Brandon added 10 points and six rebounds for FSU, which shot 19 of 40 (47.5 percent) from the floor.
FSU led 25-23 at halftime and extended the lead to 54-43 after a pair of Devon Bookert free throws with 2:40 left. Pittsburgh then went on a 9-2 run, powered by five points from Artis, to cut the FSU lead to 56-52 with 1:34 left.
But the Seminoles made 6 of 7 free-throw attempts in the final 46 seconds to seal the win.
Josh Newkirk added 12 points for Pittsburgh, which shot just 19 of 57 (32.3 percent) from the floor. The Panthers misfired from beyond the 3-point arc, making just 5 of 21 (23.8 percent).
''We're a better team than what we played this last week,'' Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. ''But these are the results. You are who you are. We're going to have to do something about that on Wednesday.''
Brandon and Bookert each had six rebounds as FSU won the rebounding edge 37-28. Pitt won the rebounding battle 39-31 when the teams played on Jan. 14, when the Panthers won 73-64.
''The rebounding really does stand out to me,'' Dixon said.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers are 10-3 all-time against Florida State.
Florida State: The Seminoles have won on senior day in nine of the last 10 seasons.
ONE LAST TIME
Turpin played his final regular-season game on Saturday and it was one of his best of the season. Turpin made 5 of 6 shots, had five rebounds and two blocks in front of family and friends. It was just his second ACC game that he hit double-figure scoring. He earned his bachelor's degree in Social Science in 2013 and is working on a second bachelor's degree in International Affairs.
Pittsburgh and Florida State both start ACC tournament play on Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C.