TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Braian Angola had 18 points and a career-high eight rebounds to lead Florida State to a 72-53 win over Tulane on Sunday.
Florida State (9-0) jumped out to a 21-7 lead midway through the first half after a 10-0 run. Tulane (7-3) answered with a 10-2 run to close to gap to 23-17 but the Seminoles scored the final six points of the half to take a 29-17 lead.
Cameron Reynolds scored five straight for Tulane early in the second half to cut the deficit to eight but with Trent Forrest scoring back-to-back baskets, FSU scored five straight points to put the lead into double figures for good. After a Reynolds bucket the Seminoles put the game away with 10 straight, four from Forrest, to lead 52-31 with 10:25 to play.
“First part of the game I thought we were a little sluggish,” Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Second half I thought we moved the ball better and that opened up some better high-percentage scoring opportunities for us.”
Forrest and Terance Mann each had 12 points for the Seminoles.
Reynolds led the Green Wave with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Blake Paul added 12 points and eight rebounds but got into early foul trouble in the second half.
Tulane struggled from the floor, shooting 25 percent (7 for 28) in the first half and 36 percent (21 for 59) for the game.
“We had a lot of great looks that I expect to go in the basket,” Green Wave coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. said. “We missed wide open 3s and some layups. I thought we did a good job of executing and good job defensively.”
Florida State got its offense rolling in the second half, shooting 58 percent (15 for 26) from the floor, including 5 of 9 behind the arc.
“Since the beginning of the year we’ve talked about ball movement and finding the open shot,” Angola said. “We don’t worry about who gets the credit, we’re just trying to find the open shots.”
Tulane: The Green Wave only got to the free throw line eight times and shot 50 percent.
Florida State: The Seminoles made things happen on the defensive end with nine steals and five blocks.
NOT WORRIED ABOUT RANKINGS
The Seminoles are one of seven undefeated teams and had a dominating 83-66 road win over No. 5 Florida earlier in the week. At 9-0, Florida State is one win away from matching the best start in school history.
But Hamilton isn’t interested in talking about whether his team is Top 25 material yet.
“I’m not concerned about that because at this point because I don’t know what our limits are,” Hamilton said. “We’re just trying to get better so once we get to conference play we’re at our best.”
GOALS IN SIGHT
Tulane has already improved its win total from last season and Dunleavy believes the Green Wave are in a position to meet their goal of making a postseason tournament.
“We have two more games before the conference and we want to be 9-3,” Dunleavy said. “From there we’ve got 18 conference games and you are probably going to need to get around 20 wins to make the postseason.”
Tulane: The Green Wave will host Nicholls State on December 18.
Florida State: The Seminoles will host Oklahoma State next Saturday.
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