Seminoles stomp Fordham, 67-43, in Jamaica Classic opener
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — The offense was good but the defense was great for Florida State.
Freshman reserve Mfiondu Kabengele scored 15 points, Terance Mann added 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and the Seminoles rolled to a 67-43 win over Fordham in the Jamaica Classic on Friday night.
The defense was suffocating for the Seminoles (2-0), holding the Rams (1-2) to 23 percent shooting (12 of 52), including 1 of 22 from 3-point range, and turning 23 turnovers into 21 points.
"I was very pleased with our defensive intensity," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I wasn't as pleased with our offensive execution but we are a work in progress and I really like the direction we are heading on the offensive end of the court. We still have a lot of work to do reach our potential but I like the direction we are going."
Florida State made just 3 of 13 3-pointers in the first half but shot 48 percent to lead 35-18 at halftime. The Seminoles made seven of their last nine shots, which helped them close on a 13-2 run. Fordham shot just 26 percent.
It didn't get any better in the second half as the Rams missed their first 15 shots, including nine from behind the arc, and FSU ran out to a 50-22 lead before Fordham's first field goal at the 10:09 mark.
Will Tavares scored 18 points for Fordham, 12 in the second half when he made 5 of 8 shots. His teammates were 1-of-21 in the second half.
THE BIG PICTURE
Fordham: Freshman Ivan Raut set a school record with seven 3s in Monday's win over LIU Brooklyn and junior Prokop Slanina had his first double-double with career highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Raut missed all six of his shots against FSU, and Slanina had eight points and six rebounds.
Florida State: The Seminoles wore turquoise Nike N7 uniforms against Fordham to raise awareness for bringing the sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth. It marks the ninth time (and first of two times this season) the Seminoles will wear the special uniforms. ... FSU is 2-0 (both against the Atlantic 10) for the third straight season and 13 times in Hamilton's 16 season.
Led by four blocks apiece by 7-foot freshman Ike Obiagu and 7-4 Christ Obiagu, FSU had nine rejections. Obiagu, a Nigerian native, swatted 330 shots in his last two years of high school at Greenforest Christian Academy.
Although Florida State ended up shooting 48 percent (25 of 52), the Seminoles were 5 of 24 from distance and 12 of 25 from the line. The Fordham finals were 12 of 52 from the field, 1 of 22 behind the arc and 18 of 25 from the line.
Fordham: The Rams meet Tulane, which beat Colorado State, on Sunday.
Florida State: The Seminoles face Colorado State, which lost to Tulane, on Sunday.