TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida State Seminoles found the defensive groove they’ve been searching for on Tuesday, but the offensive end of the court remains an every-game adventure.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Mix Of Sun & Clouds, Breeze Builds During The Week
FSU held Charleston Southern to just 29.6 shooting during a 58-47 victory, but the Seminoles failed to score 60 points for the second time this year.
The win was the first time the Seminoles have won consecutive games this season.
“Offensively, we were extremely tentative,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “A lot of that, we have some inexperienced guys we’ve asked to step up and be efficient for us in order for us to be successful.
“I think that’ll smooth itself out as they gain more and more experience.”
Freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored a game-high 16 points on 6 of 15 shooting from the floor to lead FloridaState. He has led the team in scoring the last three games. Rathan-Mayes has had the green light to shoot withFlorida State (3-3) down two veteran starters. Montay Brandon scored nine for the Seminoles and point guard Dayshawn Watkins led the team with eight rebounds.
“They’re trying to play unselfish, they’re trying to play to each other,” Hamilton said. “We’re just not playing with the level of confidence that it’s going to take for us to get where we want to go. I think that’ll come. We just have to find a way to win while we’re developing the mentality that it takes.”
The 58 points scored were the second fewest of the season for Florida State, but the Buccaneers (3-2) shot just 16 for 54 from the field, including 8 for 31 from behind the 3-point line.
Danny Upchurch and Saah Nimley led Charleston Southern with 10 points apiece.
“We simply couldn’t get it done on the offensive end,” Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh said. “CreditFlorida State on that. Their size presented us a ton of problems. A lot of shots we make in our league couldn’t even see the rim tonight.”
Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers came into the game averaging 31 3-point attempts per game and had failed to make double-digit threes just once in four games. Charleston Southern finished with exactly 31 3-point attempts, but the eight made matched a season-low.READ MORE: Hundreds Gathered In Wynwood To Protest Violence Against Palestinians
“We missed a lot of open shots,” Radebaugh said. “For a brief moment, we looked like ourselves a little bit and made some shots. We’re tough to beat when we make shots. We built it around making the 3-ball and tonight we didn’t. … It would have been interesting if we could have played like that all night.”
Florida State: The Seminoles were 2 for 16 from 3-point range. They entered the game shooting 25 percent from long range. Without Aaron Thomas and Devon Bookert, Florida State has few 3-point shooters on the roster. Freshmen Rathan-Mayes and Robbie Berwick are the only two on the roster with double-digit three-point attempts.
Florida State hosts Nebraska on Monday.
Charleston Southern hosts Western Carolina on Monday.
The Seminoles are still without leading scorer Aaron Thomas and starting point guard Devon Bookert. Thomas is still being evaluated after he began to have dizzy spells that mimicked dehydration during last week’s the road trip. Bookert is out indefinitely after having a screw removed from his foot that was used to help heal a broken bone suffered in June.
FSU center Boris Bojanovsky (7-foot-3) and Bucs guard Saah Nimley (5-8) got into a brief wrestling match over the ball midway through the second half with the ‘Noles up three points. Teammates from both sides got into the shoving match before things separated. FSU immediately went on a 10-point run from which Charleston Southern never recovered.
“That got everybody going,” Brandon said. “Boris isn’t the most physical guy. When he’s on the floor showing that emotion, that gets everybody riled up a little bit.”
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