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FSU gets defensive in 2nd half, rallies for 68-61 win over pesky Irish

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Box Score: Florida State 68, Notre Dame 61

It wasn't convincing, it wasn't pretty, and for awhile, it looked like it might not happen at all.

But the No. 17 Florida State men's basketball team ramped up its defense in the second half and made enough big plays down the stretch to hold off Notre Dame, 68-61, Monday night at the Tucker Center.

The Seminoles, who were playing on only a day's rest following a lopsided loss at North Carolina on Saturday, improved to 22-6 overall and 10-5 in ACC play. The Fighting Irish fell to 13-15, 3-12.

Notre Dame, which has struggled from the perimeter for most of this season, was on fire in the first half and continued that trend early in the second. The Irish at one point had hit 8 of 15 shots from 3-point range, despite coming into the game shooting just 31.5 percent from deep.

But Florida State, which trailed for much of the game, played much better defensively in the second half and rallied to take a 57-55 advantage with just over six minutes left. The Seminoles then extended their lead to 62-57 when Terance Mann soared high above the rim to slam home a teammate's missed 3-pointer.

Point guard Trent Forrest later hit two free throws to push FSU's lead back to 65-61 with 35 seconds left.

FSU was led offensively by freshman guard Devin Vassell, who scored 13 points off the bench. He hit 5 of 6 shots from the field and 3 of 3 from three-point range. The Seminoles also got 12 from Christ Koumadje and 10 from Mfiondu Kabengele.

Notre Dams missed its final six shots from 3-point range.

FSU now will have the rest of the week to prepare for visiting N.C. State on Saturday.

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