It wasn’t the easiest win of the season for Florida State. That distinction still belongs to the Florida Gators.
But the No. 11 Seminoles, after allowing Troy to cut the lead to two in the second half, took control of the game down the stretch on their way to a 83-67 win over the Trojans.
P.J. Savoy led FSU with 16 points (on 4 of 10 3-point shooting), M.J. Walker added 14 and Trent Forrest chipped in with 13 points and five rebounds. All told, head coach Leonard Hamilton played 11 players – and 10 of them scored – as the Seminoles seemed to wear down the Trojans (3-5) in the final 15 minutes.
After trailing 37-28 at halftime, Troy scored on its first five possessions of the second half and cut the Florida State lead to 42-40 with 17 minutes left.
The Seminoles immediately responded with an 8-0 run (on a Savoy 3, a Walker 3-point play and a David Nichols layup.
The lead fluctuated between six and 11 until the Seminoles finally put Troy away with a 24-9 run midway through the second half, building the lead to as much as 21 points on a Mfiondu Kabengele free throw.
Florida State struggled offensively, shooting just 42 percent from the floor and committing 17 turnovers. Troy actually shot better from the floor than the Seminoles did, connecting on 44 percent of its shots, but was done in by 22 turnovers – which resulted in 27 points for the Seminoles.
Hamilton’s team also got 31 points off the bench and 20 second-chance points overall. Kabengele had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds and three blocks in the win.
The Seminoles play again on Saturday against UConn in Newark, N.J.