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No. 10 Florida State holds off Louisville


By The Sports Xchange

Florida State scored the first 14 points against Louisville in front of a sold-out crowd at Tallahassee, Fla., and held the lead for the entirety of the game.
However, things got close late, with Louisville coming as close as one point away with 2:04 remaining.
The Seminoles (18-2, 6-1 in the ACC) regained control and went on to a 73-68 victory on Saturday, beating the Cardinals for the first time since Louisville joined the conference in 2014.
"It's just a matter of toughness on the road. We didn't get enough stops when we needed to. We played with great effort and intensity. We just didn't do the little things," Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell said.
Florida State won its 17th consecutive home game.
For Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton, this was just like any other ACC game.
"Every game you play in the ACC has this kind of feel, the league has got to a point where any given night, anything can happen because of the quality of the coaches, the players. Our fans have been tremendous supporting of us this year, and I think it inspires our players."
Forward Jonathan Isaac, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, blocked a shot and guard Dwayne Bacon made two free throws with 21 seconds remaining, allowing Florida State to hang on.
Isaac recorded his third straight double-double.
Hamilton spoke about the breakout freshman following Saturday's game.
"He's just a guy who is growing up in front of our eyes. He's already recognized as a great player, but if you notice he plays the game and allows the game to come to him."
Tony Hicks of Louisville (16-4, 4-3) scored a season-high 16 points off the bench.
Free throws dominated the game as the teams combined to make 60 trips to the line. Florida State knocked down 25 of 36 free throws, with Louisville converting 16 of 24 chances.
Louisville scored got 40 of its 68 points off the bench, with Florida State's reserves managing only 11.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said he was just using all the resources he could.
"I don't think on our team we really have a starting five. I think that (Ray Spalding) and (Jaylen Johnson), they take turns starting, flipping a coin. We've got nine, 10 guys that can play. We're down three scholarships too. So we're lucky they all can play."
Bacon entered Saturday averaging 17.4 points per game, had eight points on 3 of 11 shooting at the break. However, he would extend his streak of games with at least 10 points scored to 30, finishing with 16 points.
Bacon insisted that the night still went well for him.
"I'm a guy that scores the ball for us so my coaches just tell me to keep doing what I usually do. You're always going to have games that don't go so well but it still ended in a win, so it went well for me."
Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell was held scoreless until 11:34 remained in the game. The Cardinals' leading scorer this season, averaging 13.8 points, finished with a season-low six points, in part due to picking up four fouls.
Mitchell didn't pull any punches.
"Just wasn't hitting shots and got into foul trouble. Wasn't really anything wrong, I just wasn't playing well."
The Cardinals were within three points with two minutes remaining in the first half thanks to center Mangok Mathiang, who led Louisville with nine points and seven rebounds before halftime.
Aided by a cold spell from Florida State, which went cold and made only 3 of 16 shots, Louisville outscored the Seminoles 35-27 after that early run and headed to the locker room only down by six.
Louisville is 4-4 against Top 25 opponents.
During this recent six-game stretch against Top 25 teams, Florida State came out 5-1, the highest record in NCAA history among teams playing six straight against Top 25 opponents.
Florida State heads to Atlanta on Wednesday for a matchup against unranked Georgia Tech. Louisville will play its second and final game of its short trip in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
NOTES: Florida State, in celebration of alumni day, wore alternative retro warm-up jerseys. ... The Seminoles had their second home sellout of the season. ... The Cardinals are 7-8 all-time against teams ranked No. 10 or higher in the AP poll. ... Louisville's Mangok Mathiang recorded his 136th career blocked shot and moved to 10th in school history.


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