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Although the season-opening defeat was a few days in the rear view, Florida State (1-1) officially got past its nightmare debut with a convincing win Monday night. The Seminole offense made a potent second-half run to end any hope for visiting Buffalo (0-2), eventually closing out with a 95-68 win at the Tucker Center.
"I thought our team played with a tremendous amount of energy tonight," said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. "They didn't show the signs of stage fright they showed that I thought they displayed the other night."
Senior guard Michael Snaer came alive offensively in the second half, scoring 16 of his game-high 19 points. Snaer hit back-to-back threes shortly after the break, keying a 5-for-10 night from the field that included four made three pointers in seven attempts.
"That's just all part of being patient," said Snaer, who struggled to find his shot in the season's first 60 minutes. "Our guys finally coming along and being aggressive. I got a lot of open shots just because my teammates were able to learn the stuff that we're doing. We're penetrating better and making the defense collapse."
Complimenting Snaer and the Seminoles' 59.6-percent shooting night were efficient performances from forwards Okaro White and Terrance Shannon. White and Shannon combined to go a perfect 8-for-8 from the field for 22 points.
Florida State opened the game with a different lineup and a new starting point guard. Freshman Montay Brandon began the game with previous point guard Ian Miller playing off along with Snaer. Brandon ran the offense for 20 minutes while fellow freshman Devon Bookert (knee) looked fresh-legged in 18 minutes of floor time.
Speaking to reporters after the game, coach Hamilton explained that Miller will run the point at times, but Hamilton hinted that Brandon and Bookert will be the duo moving forward.
Defensively speaking, the Seminoles drew postgame criticism for being too porous. Buffalo shot an even 50 percent from the field on 54 attempts and out-rebounded the 'Noles 28-27.
While both Hamilton and Snaer lauded the team's energy level in the win, they were both quick to criticize the details of the defensive schemes.
"With all the energy and the effort that we were playing with, it just says that our techniques are still - we still have a ways to go in terms of executing our defensive fundamentals," Hamilton said.
"Our defense last year, you know, it would have never happened," Snaer said about Buffalo's 68-point output. "The effort is better. We're finally getting the effort right. Now we've got to make sure we get the technique down. Once we do that, we'll be fine."
The Seminoles fly to Brooklyn, N.Y. later this week for the Coaches Vs. Cancer Tournament. The Seminoles will tip off against BYU in their first of two games Friday night at 7:00 p.m. inside the Barclays Center.
* White's double-digit scoring performance was his first since scoring 11 points in FSU's ACC Tournament opener against Miami.
* The Seminoles missed eight three-pointers Monday night (10-for-18) and missed seven free throws (17-for-24)
* 10 Seminoles played at least 12 minutes in the game, nine played 17 minutes or more. Freshman guard Aaron Thomas scored 10 points for his first double-digit night at Florida State.