Florida State defeats Manhattan in men's basketball season opener
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Aaron Thomas scored 14 points as Florida State won its season opener 81-66 over visiting Manhattan in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. Jarquez Smith chipped in 13 points and Montay Brandon added 12 Saturday afternoon.
Manhattan jumped to a 23-13 lead thanks to some deadly shooting from behind the arc. The Jaspers' first seven field goals came from 3-point range. Shane Richards carried the load with 14 first-half points and finished with 17 points.
Florida State (1-0) had some trouble with the Jaspers' energy early and had 15 first-half turnovers. Fouls, however, fueled the FSU comeback. The Seminoles knocked down 15 of 20 free-throw attempts in the first half, including 11 during a 24-8 run to close the opening 20 minutes and take a 37-31 lead into the break.
Manhattan (0-1) went cold after the hot start and shot just 25.9 percent in the first half and 28.6 percent for the game.
Florida State shot 50 percent from the field and made 32 of 44 free throws. There were 75 fouls combined between the two teams.
"Fouling negates your rhythm and hustle," Manhattan coach Steve Masiello. "Give Florida State credit, they got out to our shooters. And their size is so imposing when you get in the lane, they force you to make tough twos."
Manhattan: The Jaspers lived and died from the perimeter. They were outscored 32-12 from inside the point and just didn't have the bulk to compete down low. There wasn't a post game to turn to for easy baskets and guards struggled to penetrate off the dribble. The game got away when the long jumpers stopped falling.
Florida State: The Seminoles spread out the scoring much more with former starters Ian Miller and Okaro White no longer with the team. Six different players scored in double figures. Freshman Robbie Berwick came off the bench to score 11 points and Kiel Turpin returned from a leg injury that kept him of 2013-14 to finish with 13 points. Devin Bookert had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and six turnovers.
Manhattan plays at Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Florida State hosts Northeastern on Tuesday.