Bacon leads Florida State past Charleston Southern 75-64
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) The last thing Florida State's Dwayne Bacon wanted going into the Christmas break with a loss.
But for the first 22 minutes of Monday's game against Charleston Southern, that appeared possible.
After a Patrick Wallace 3-pointer gave the Buccaneers a 37-36 lead early in the second half, the Seminoles were finally able to get on track. They scored seven straight points during a 16-5 run that ended up powering Florida State to a 75-64 victory.
Bacon, who had a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds, scored four points during the run. Jarquez Smith also had four points while Malik Beasley and Xavier Rathan-Mayes added three apiece.
A Wallace jumper got the Buccaneers within 69-62 with 1:48 remaining but they could not get any closer.
''It's the game before you go on break, and everybody is just so ready to go on break, because we haven't gone home in a while. So you just have to execute,'' said Bacon after the first double-double of his collegiate career. ''You have to come in and play the game. If we had gone home with a loss that would have looked bad.''
Bacon, who was named the ACC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season prior to tipoff, has 20 or more points in three straight games and six overall. Over the past three games he is averaging 21 points, is 24 of 41 from the field and 15 of 19 from the line.
Beasley, who has scored in double figures in every game his season, added 16 points and Smith 12 for the Seminoles (9-2), who have won five straight.
This is the fifth time in coach Leonard Hamilton's 14 seasons at the school and second time in the past three that the Seminoles have started 9-2 or better. The 2003-04, 2005-06 and 2008-09 teams went 10-1.
''I think our energy was decent but our turnovers killed us,'' Hamilton said. ''We had 13 turnovers at halftime and four was from our point guard. When you have that many possessions that are empty that takes its toll. We had to work very hard the past couple games to come away with success. That's the type of energy we have to play beginning to end.''
Florida State jumped out to an early 10-3 lead as Bacon scored six. The Bucs though were able to fight back and tied it three times over the final 6:17 of the half.
Armel Potter led the Bucs (4-8) with 20 points while Raemond Robinson added 11 and Demetrius Pollard 10.
''That's the best offensive transition team that I've seen on film or in person. They have made a commitment on the offensive end to run. And they ran,'' Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh said. ''We fatigued a little bit. We shoot a lot of 3-pointers and that leads to a lot of long rebounds. Defensive transition is paramount to us.''
Florida State came into the game averaging 13.5 turnovers per game but committed 13 in the first half and nine in the first 10 minutes. The Seminoles ended up with 18 turnovers for the game, which was one off their season high of 19.
Florida State: Perimeter shooting continues to be a concern for the Seminoles. Over the past five games, Rathan-Mayes is 9 of 21 but the rest of the team is 10 of 62.
Charleston Southern: After going 11 of 37 from beyond the arc, the Bucs have attempted 25 or more 3-pointers in eight games and made 10 or more seven times.
Florida State: Travels to Florida on Dec. 29.
Charleston Southern: Hosts St. Andrews (North Carolina) on Dec. 29.