Pittsburgh rallies for 74-72 victory at Florida State

By JOE REEDY
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — With Pittsburgh trailing by 10 to Florida State at halftime, coach Jamie Dixon finally let his team have it. Whatever he said, the Panthers got the message.

Pittsburgh rallied for a 74-72 victory on Saturday in a game where Florida State withered down the stretch after leading scorer Malik Beasley fouled out.

For the Panthers, who had dropped two of their last three coming into the game, it was a win that Dixon said they really needed.

"I really got into them and challenged them. It’s probably the most vocal I’ve been in the 13 years," Dixon said. "I made it very clear that we were going to win. As bad as it was with the 10-point deficit, I felt that we had still done some things good offensively and we needed to contain their transition offense."

Pittsburgh (16-3, 5-2 ACC) trailed for most of the game but took the lead for good with 33 seconds remaining on a Jamel Artis 3-pointer. Ryan Luther missed a layup but grabbed his own rebound and kicked it out to Artis, who was 1 of 6 from beyond the arc before making it.

Artis and Sterling Smith led the Panthers with 16 points each while James Robinson added 14 and Michael Young 13 with six rebounds.

"Coach was very (ticked) at halftime. He’s not always going to be happy with what we do but he also believes in us," Atris said.

Beasley, who led the Seminoles with 16 points, picked up his fourth foul with 8:29 remaining and fouled out for the second straight game with 2:24 remaining. Once he sat for good, the Panthers went on a 9-5 run as they took advantage of two Seminoles’ turnovers and grabbed two offensive rebounds.

Xavier-Rathan Mayes added 14 points, Dwayne Bacon 12 and Devon Bookert 10 for Florida State (12-7, 2-5).

After Atis’ 3-pointer, Florida State turned it over when Bacon was called for a five-second violation on an inbound play near the Seminoles’ bench. Young then made a pair of free throws to give the Panthers breathing room at 72-67 with 23 seconds remaining.

Rathan-Mayes made a 3-pointer to bring the Seminoles within a basket but Smith put the Panthers up by more than a possession with a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining.

"We were very anxious at times. We had 16 turnovers, but eight of them were unforced turnovers. Turnovers that we created ourselves," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Our turnovers caused us to be a little stagnant. The percentages say that we did a pretty good job offensively but I didn’t think we were as sharp offensively."

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TIP-INS

Pittsburgh: Forward Sheldon Jeter missed the game due to a concussion. The 6-foot-8 forward leads the team in blocked shots with 18. … Robinson has played in 122 straight games, which ties him with Demetreus Gore and Charles Smith for third in school history. … Robinson and Young were 4 of 18 from the field in the first half but went 6 of 11 in the final 20 minutes. … The Panthers have been outrebounded only five times this season but it has happened in the past two games. The Seminoles had a 32-31 edge on the boards.

Florida State: After going 9 of 21 on free throws at Louisville, the Seminoles hit their first eight and were 8 of 12.They were 1 of 5 in the second half. … Bookert, who hit both of his 3-point attempts, is 20 of 31 from beyond the arc in conference play.

XRM BACK IN LINEUP

Rathan-Mayes, who did not play in the Louisville game due to a coach’s decision, was in the starting lineup and played a team-high 34 minutes.

Hamilton would not go into the reason why Rathan-Mayes was benched, calling it "family business."

"My coach made a decision last game and that’s someone I look up to as a father figure. I’ll roll with him. We’re on the same track," Rathan-Mayes said.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

"We’re a team in the making. We’ve won a lot of games, but we needed to win a game like this. We’ve battled back but then we haven’t finished it at the end. This was good for us to come back. We haven’t had a lot of those." — Dixon

UP NEXT

Pittsburgh is at Clemson on Wednesday.

Florida State travels to Boston College on Tuesday.

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