No. 23 FSU aims to rebound vs. Louisville
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- No. 23 Florida State will host Louisville on Wednesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center, where both programs will try to rebound from weekend losses.
The Seminoles (12-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) dropped their most recent outing 80-74 on Sunday at No. 18 Miami, which led throughout and was never really threatened by rival Florida State.
The Seminoles entered the game with their confidence at a season high after knocking off No. 20 North Carolina last Wednesday for their first win against the Tar Heels since the 2012 ACC Championship Game.
The victory over North Carolina also extended Florida State's home win streak to 28 games at the Tucker Center, where they haven't lost since the 2015-16 season. The home winning streak is the third longest in the nation behind Cincinnati (35 games) and Southern Methodist University (34).
The Seminoles were poised to make a significant move in the Associated Press Top 25 poll after the win over the then-No. 12 Tar Heels, but the loss to Miami prevented that. Instead, Florida State moved up one spot from No. 24 to No. 23 in the latest poll released Monday.
Florida State, which was down as many as 16 points in the second half to the Hurricanes, nearly rallied in the final minute -- cutting the Miami lead to four points with less than 30 seconds remaining -- but the comeback fell short.
"In the second half, we were a little more aggressive," said Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, whose team shot a season-low 36 percent in the loss. "But we had dug such a hole, it was hard to pull out of it."
Like Florida State, Louisville (11-4, 1-1) enters Wednesday's game looking to get back on track after a 74-69 overtime loss to No. 19 Clemson last Saturday.
It was the Cardinals' second loss in their last three games after being routed 90-61 by rival and No. 16 Kentucky on Dec. 29. Louisville beat Pitt 77-51 in between those two games to open ACC play.
Louisville turned the ball over 21 times in the loss to Clemson, yet it still had a shot to win the game at the end of regulation. Cardinals head coach David Padgett said his team has to cut down on turnovers if it wants to be a viable force in the ACC this season.
"We shot a good percentage, we outrebounded them by 11," said Padgett, whose team's defense was on point, despite the loss, as the Cardinals held the Tigers to 37 percent shooting. "You just can't turn the ball over 21 times. It is impossible to overcome."
Florida State is led in scoring by guard Terance Mann at 14.5 points per game, followed by forward Phil Cofer at 13.7 points and guard Braian Angola at 13.3 points on average per outing.
Louisville also has three players averaging double figures, paced by forward Deng Adel at 15.1 points per game. Right behind Adel is guard Quentin Snider, who averages 12.4 points per game, and forward Ray Spalding at 11.1 points per game.
Louisville has dominated the series against Florida State and leads 32-10. But the Seminoles won the last meeting 73-68 on Jan. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee.
Updated January 9, 2018
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