The Florida State Men's basketball team used a noticeable size advantage to defeat Charleston Southern 76-51 on Monday night. FSU (6-3) was able to stop a three-game losing skid with the win, while CSU (5-3) had its own five-game win streak snapped.
The Buccaneers' tallest starter was just 6-foot-6 and they had no one on their roster taller than 6-foot-9. The height advantage paid off for the Seminoles as they out-rebounded CSU 45 to 30.
FSU took control with an early 14-0 lead in the first half and took a 45-18 lead into the half. Despite an offensive lull to start the second half, FSU was in total control of the game.
"I was very pleased with our overall defensive effort," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Especially the first 25-26 minutes I thought we did a good job switching one through five (defensively) and were able to contain the dribble as a result of it."
The Buccaneers shot just 29.8 percent from the floor, hitting on just 17 of 57 attempts. CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said FSU's length played a major part in his team's offensive struggles.
"I've been coaching for 24 years at every level and that's as long and athletic a team as I've ever competed against," he said.
Offensively FSU shot 48.4 percent from the floor, but was again plagued by turnovers. FSU turned it over 21 times, but did have 19 assists on 30 made shots.
"I thought we improved in a lot of areas significantly," Hamilton said. "Our effort, our energy and our execution, except those turnovers we invented. We invent ways to turn the ball over, but the encouraging thing about that is we can cut those out."
Okaro White led all scorers with a career-high 20 points. He also had seven rebounds and three assists.
"I just tried to take open shots when I had them," White said. "I really tried not to be over aggressive and try to get in early and get an offensive rebound or something to get me going."
Xavier Gibson (12 points), Bernard James (12 points) and Michael Snaer (13 points) all scored double figures as well.
True freshman guard Terry Whisnant scored a career-high eight points as he played a career-high 19 minutes. He knocked down consecutive three-point attempts in the first half and added a layup late in the second half. While Whisnant could be an offensive boost, of course Hamilton said that it is the freshman's defensive growth that has pleased him the most.
"That's why he's on the floor, because he's guarding people, getting deflections, and rotating sealing the baseline and contesting shots," Hamilton said. "His defense has gotten him on the floor; we know that he'll be a solid offensive player for us."
FSU will look to keep things rolling on Sunday when they take on UNC Greensboro at 1 p.m.