FSU's season ends with 91-66 loss to Xavier
Defending the 3-pointer has been a problem for Florida State at times this season. There was no way it was going to be an issue against the second-worst 3-point shooting team in the NCAA Tournament.
Right? About that.
Xavier's consistency from 3 was beyond surprising. It was crippling and because the Musketeers shot 65 percent from deep, Florida State's historic season ended in a 91-66 loss Saturday in a second-round game at the Amway center.
In terms of wins FSU (26-9), enjoyed the second-best season in its history. Only the 1972 team, which lost the national title game, won more when they finished the season with 28 victories. Sophomore swingman Dwayne Bacon led FSU with 20 points.
FSU, down by nine at half, never came within single-digits in the final 19 minutes of the game.
The Seminoles went through several three-to-four minute stretches where they couldn't hit a shot. The Musketeers' (23-13) once went more than two minutes without a basket but by then, they were leading 77-57 with 5:27 remaining.
FSU's shooting woes were a problem in the first half.
The Seminoles through a five-minute period where they couldn't sink a shot, regardless of the distance. It allowed Xavier to score 15 unanswered points for a 25-10 lead with 9:24 left in the half.
The Seminoles would switch things up by allowing Bacon and Rathan-Mayes to operate out of the iso. Between Bacon and Rathan-Mayes getting space and the Seminoles' transition game, they were able to cut the lead to 35-30 with 2:44 left.
Xavier would respond consecutive 3-pointers before taking a 44-34 halftime lead.
The Muskeeters' first-half proficiency was a bit surprising.
Xavier entered the NCAA Tournament shooting 34 percent from beyond which ranked 225th in the nation. It was also the second-lowest percentage of any team in the tournament behind South Carolina.
Against the Seminoles, however, the Musketeers were 5 of 7 for 71.4 percent in the first half. FSU, however, was 1 of 8 for 12.5 percent.