Florida State frosh post strong debut over Nicholls, 109-62
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) If Florida State's freshmen had any anxiety about playing in their first college game, they didn't show it.
The vaunted recruiting class scored 62 points as the Seminoles led throughout in a 109-62 win over Nicholls State on Sunday.
It is the first time since 1993 that the Seminoles have scored more than 100 points in a season opener. They led by as many as 48 with 3:13 remaining and shot 65.6 percent (40 of 61) from the field.
''I couldn't tell you who the freshmen were and weren't. They all looked like veteran players to me,'' Nicholls State coach J.P. Piper said.
Florida State had five players score in double figures, including three freshmen. Dwayne Bacon, a McDonald's All-American selection last season, led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds. Malik Beasley added 21 and Terance Mann, 15. Chris Koumandje, who is the tallest player in school history at 7-foot-4, scored 3 points and had four rebounds.
Senior Devon Bookert (11 points) and sophomore Xavier Rathan-Mayes (11 points, 11 assists) also scored in double figures for Florida State.
''Offensively we were clicking fairly well early in the game. Defensively, we were kind of trading baskets,'' Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. ''I guess that shows that offensively we have potential to score points, defensively we have a ways to go.''
The Seminoles improved to 13-1 in season openers under Hamilton. They hit 13 of their first 16 from the field and led by as many as 28 in the first half as they were 21 of 34 from the field in the first 20 minutes. Perimeter shooting was not a problem as they were 10 of 20 on 3-pointers.
''I thought we were very comfortable out there. We came out, did a great job and took what the defense gave us,'' Rathan-Mayes said.
Ja'Dante' Frye led Nicholls State with 13 points and T.J. Carpenter added 10.
The Colonels started out the game by hitting 7 of their first 11 shots from the field but were 4 of 16 the remainder of the first half as they were unable to keep pace with the Seminoles.
''They run faster than us. ... I don't know that we can run any faster,'' Piper said. ''We're sprinting guys back and they're still beating us down the floor and the ball is at the rim before we can really prepare to defend it.''
Florida State: It is only the fourth time in a regular-season game under coach Leonard Hamilton that the Seminoles have scored in triple figures and the first since Dec. 17, 2013, when they defeated Campbell 108-75.
Nicholls State: The Colonels hit four of their first seven 3-point attempts but were 3 of 19 the rest of the game.
Florida State struggled rebounding last season, but had a 42-21 advantage on the boards in the opener. Nicholls State did not have an offensive rebound in the first half and finished with only four.
''Everybody was crashing the boards. Crash the boards, get the defensive rebounds, kick it out and get in transition. That's one of the things he (Hamilton) wants us to do,'' said forward Phil Cofer, who had 9 points and five rebounds.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''We all know that they are very capable of being very good offensive players. As coaches we have to evaluate the things that we are trying to get them to accomplish overall. Both gave good effort, trying to do what we asked them to do,'' Hamilton said about the performances of Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley.
Florida State hosts Jacksonville on Tuesday.
Nicholls State hosts Mobile on Thursday.