With Cofer family on minds; 'Noles trounce Racers to advance to Sweet 16
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The black ribbon on their jerseys paid tribute to Mike Cofer.
Their ferocious play on the court honored his son, Phil.
And by blowing out Murray State here Saturday night at the XL Arena, 90-62, the No. 4 seed Florida State Seminoles assured their grieving teammate a chance to play at least one more time in a Florida State uniform.
With the victory, the Seminoles (29-7) will advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year. They will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Thursday.
Phil Cofer, the senior forward who sat out both games here with a foot injury, found out after Thursday's game that his father had died following a lengthy illness. He was 58 years old.
The major media story line heading into Saturday was whether Florida State could do anything to slow down Murray State star Ja Morant, who posted a rare triple-double in the Racers' opening-round game against Marquette.
Morant scored a game-high 28 points, but he had a heck of a time doing it. He connected on just 8 of 21 shots from the field.
FSU was led by sophomore forward Mfiondu Kabengele, who scored 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting. The Seminoles also got 18 points from senior guard Terance Mann and 11 from freshman forward RaiQuan Gray.
The Seminoles out-rebounded the Racers, 45-33. And they outscored them in bench points, 47-6.
It is not yet known if Cofer will be available to play in the next round, but considering the Seminoles were hopeful he would be able to play on Saturday, there likely is a chance.
Before Saturday's game, Cofer stood with his teammates during the national anthem and had to wipe tears from his eyes. He was comforted on the court by teammates and even received pats on the back from Murray State players.