Lucky No. 7: Seminoles win seventh straight with rout at Georgia Tech
ATLANTA -- For the first time in seven years -- and the second time ever -- the Florida State men's basketball team has itself a seven-game ACC winning streak.
Following in the footsteps of the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference champions, the 2019 Seminoles tied their mark on Saturday by completely suffocating an offensively challenged Georgia Tech squad in Atlanta.
The Seminoles led by double-digits for the final 30:25 of game time en route to a 69-47 victory at McCamish Pavilion.
Florida State is now 20-5 overall and 8-4 in the ACC. Georgia Tech is 11-15 and 3-10.
"They had our attention," said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton, whose team struggled to put the Yellow Jackets away at home two weeks ago. "But I thought our guys responded well. I thought we executed exceptionally well on the defensive end."
Georgia Tech shot just 27 percent from the floor.
And once again, the Seminoles' bench was a vital part of their success. They outscored the Georgia Tech subs, 35-7, and actually outscored the Florida State starters, 35-34.
Freshman Devin Vassell was the leading scorer for the Seminoles with 11 points. In the first half, he hit two 3-pointers, scored on an alley-oop dunk with a great assist from David Nichols and also added two steals and a block.
The Suwanee, Ga., native was playing in front of "10 or 11" family and friends on Saturday, including his parents and siblings.
"It was just a great feeling," Vassell said. "My coaches are always on me and telling me to work hard and be ready when my number is called. And I feel like I'm in a great place and a great situation. So I was out there ready to play."
Florida State took a 34-23 lead into halftime and then just rolled from there. Despite shooting just 39 percent from the floor and 30 percent from 3, the game was never really in doubt in the second half.
Georgia Tech didn't crack the 40-point barrier until there was 1:35 left in the game. By that time, the Seminoles were up by 25 and the walk-ons were in the game.
"We're healthy now," said senior Terance Mann, who finished with eight points, seven rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes. "We started ACC all banged up ... so, you know, we weren't able to play with the same energy we wanted to. Now we can, and it's all kind of gelling together."
No FSU player was on the court for more than 26 minutes on Saturday. Ten played at least 11:15. And 10 different players scored.
Vassell also became the ninth different player to lead the Seminoles in scoring this season.
"That's just what we do," Mann said. "Our motto is '18 strong.' And every night is different. Every single night is different. We need everybody to bring the energy, and when we're healthy like this, we're a scary team."
After not recording a double-double in his first 3 1/2 years in a Seminole uniform, senior center Christ Koumadje now has two in back-to-back games. He followed up his 20-point, 12-rebound performance vs. Wake Forest with a 10-point, 12-rebound, 3-block effort on Saturday.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," Koumadje said. "I was just trying to be aggressive in the paint and crashing the glass."
"I think Christ has found his niche," Hamilton said. "You like to see him get some confidence. Our players have confidence in him. There was a time where I think he went 0-for-6 against Miami, and his teammates really challenged him and told him how important he was to our team and that we needed him to be who he is, and that we would play off him.
"And I think he's responded very well."
Florida State has now won at least 20 games for the fourth straight season.
The Seminoles play on the road again on Tuesday night when they travel to Clemson, which lost by a point to Louisville on Saturday (the second consecutive one-point loss for the Tigers).