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November 8, 2013
Despite 20 turnovers, 'Noles roll to 91-67 win in opener
On a night in which the Seminoles had issues with turnovers, things went about as smoothly as possible everywhere else.
Guards Ian Miller and Aaron Thomas, who sat out the exhibition season with team imposed suspensions, saw their first minutes in the second half as host Florida State (1-0) pulled away to a 91-67 win over the Jacksonville Dolphins (0-1) in the teams' regular season opener.
"I'm not real sure we played particularly well tonight," said head coach Leonard Hamilton. "But we scored 91 points."
Okaro White is one-for-one in the double-double department. The senior guard racked up a team-high 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds. And point guard Devon Bookert, who led the Seminoles through 20 minutes with 13 first half points, finished the night with 16 points and nine rebounds.
"It was great on a personal level too, my first game as a senior," said White. "It was a good game overall. I thought we did some good things."
The one dark spot for Hamilton's team was the turnover number as FSU gave the ball back to Jacksonville 20 times. The Dolphins countered with 25 turnovers of their own, which led to 32 Seminole points.
A tightly contested 43-36 game at the half, Florida State pulled away in the final 20 minutes, thanks in large part to Miller and Thomas coming off the bench. Miller played 18 minutes overall to Thomas' 16, and both powered the offense to 48 second-half points. The duo combined for 18 points, six assists, three steals and one turnover.
Perhaps no player was more relieved to see Miller and Thomas than Bookert. The sophomore guard played all 20 minutes in the first half, followed by 12 minutes in the second.
"It's a big relief because they're real good players," Bookert said. "And they spread out the court with their great abilities."
Five players in all finished with double-digit point totals for Florida State, with Montay Brandon (15), Robert Gilchrist (10) and Thomas (10) turning in a combined 13-for-22 night from the field. As a team, the 'Noles shot 53.3% for the game compared to 41.1% for Jacksonville.
"Down the stretch, I think their size, their athleticism wore on us a little bit," said Jacksonville coach Cliff Warren.
The Seminoles keep it in-state for their next game, however they will travel to Orlando to play UCF Wednesday night at 7pm. The game will be carried on ESPNNews.
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