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January 4, 2012
After starting slow in consecutive losses to Florida and Princeton, Florida State wasted no time getting things going on offense Wednesday night against Auburn.
The Seminoles (9-5) scored 24 points in the first 10 minutes as they went on to snap a two-game skid with an 85-56 victory over the Tigers (10-4) at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
"Obviously our team played with a much more aggressive mentality (Wednesday) in the first half," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Obviously it was about as good as we've played, in terms of defense, executing, taking care of the ball, completing the assignments that we had in our gameplan."
Auburn led 5-4 in the early going, but jump-started by a Michael Snaer three-pointer, FSU went on a 28-3 run over the next 12 minutes to take control of the game.
FSU took a 50-16 lead into halftime, shooting 63.3 percent from the floor and holding Auburn to just 15.2 percent in the opening half.
"We needed that energy coming out and showing our fans what we're really capable of," said senior guard Deividas Dulkys who scored five points in his first start of the year. "We weren't playing to our capabilities in the last-probably the whole season-- and we wanted to win to redeem ourselves."
Offensively, Snaer led the way with a career-high 22 points, shooting 5 of 9 from the floor and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line. Ian Miller added 15 points of his own.
But the real difference for the FSU offense - the big men - finished at the basket when given the opportunity. Xavier Gibson scored 12 points going 4 of 4 from the floor and 4 of 4 at the free throw line as well. He also had five rebounds.
"It was very important to get our guards back confident throwing the ball back into us," Gibson said. "We just wanted to finish plays inside. That's big for us, getting to the foul line and just getting the easy points."
FSU now begins Atlantic Coast Conference play as it travels to Clemson on January 7 for a 4 p.m. tipoff on ESPN2.
"Now every game takes on added importance," Hamilton said. "People are fighting for their postseason lives. We are going into a place on Saturday we have not had very much success in ? we know it's a typical ACC road game that we've got to be at our very best, plus."
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