FSU Basketball: Orange Crushed in Seminoles' Return to Winning Ways

Lead by a Jahmir Watkins (2) career high, FSU Seminoles Basketball regain their winning form and seperate late in the contest.
Florida State v Syracuse
Florida State v Syracuse / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

At the tip-off, the two teams faced each other in similar stature, standing neck and neck in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings and eye to eye on the court. The Syracuse Orange and Florida State Seminoles began their battle on the hardwood.

It was hotly contested from the first whistle as the lead would see-saw with the game's ebbs and flows. The largest Seminole lead was a seven-point gap, and the Orange would hold, at most, a four-point advantage.

At the halftime whistle, the Syracuse Orange narrowly stood above FSU at 36-35 and the Seminoles with the ball. They would score on the first possession before Syracuse would respond with an 8-0 run.

With the Orange lead at seven, FSU responded with a run of their own with some timely shooting, strong rebounding, and good defense to force tough shots and a bad turnover. This spurt from the Seminoles would tie the game, and the Orange would again separate.

Syracuse would then go three minutes without a bucket in their favor, and FSU would see Primo Spears (23) hit a rare three-pointer, Jamir Watkins (2) dunk the ball twice to add to his highlight real, and Cam Corhen would score at the rim behind Syracuse's zone.

This tide of Seminole scoring was only stemmed by a Syracuse timeout, with FSU above the Orange by one. The teams continued to exchange baskets, but the Seminoles again built a seven-point lead with 7:20 left to play and not look back.

Darin Green Jr. (22) would get a friendly roll on a corner three. Baba Miller (11) would go coast to coast, and the lead entered double digits. Propelled on both ends of the floor by Watkins and Spears, the Seminoles would continue to separate.

It was a 12-point gap approaching four minutes remaining after an alley-oop. Jalen Warley (1) tipped in a rebound at the rim to make it 14 points. Syracuse continued to wear down, and FSU's lead continued to swell and went up to 20 as a Watkins corner three went down, marking his career-high 27th point of the evening to go with his 10 rebounds. At the final whistle, the Seminoles stood tall, and above Syracuse, 85-69.

FSU had four players with double-digit points. Watkins and his 27 lead the team. Spears had 13, Miller finished with 12, and Corhen tallied 10. The Seminoles shot 49 percent from the field, including 35 percent from three-point land. They also improved at the free throw line, shooting 75 percent from the charity stripe.

Syracuse only had two in double digits for points. Judah Mintz (3) would total a game-high 28, and JJ Starling (2) had 10. The Orange shot a dismal seven percent from behind the three-point arc but would finish with 44 percent shooting from the field. They would struggle with free throws as well and shoot 66 percent from the line.

Syracuse outrebounded FSU 42-36, but 15 Orange turnovers to the Seminole's nine would negate that statistical advantage and spell doom.

Stats gathered from here.

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