Florida State handles Missouri, 67-54, in first round


The ninth-seeded Seminoles handled Missouri, the No. 8 seed in the West Region, in Nashville late Friday night, 67-54.

The Seminoles built a 22-point halftime lead, but had to fend off the Tigers in the second half.

Frericks scored just two points on 1-of-2 shooting but grabbed nine rebounds. Leading scorer and rebounder Terance Mann did leave the game after slipping to the floor in the second half and did not return.

But after a dream of a first half in their NCAA tournament game against Missouri, the Seminoles found themselves on the brink of a nightmare.

More important, the Seminoles' win-by-committee approach shined bright against the Tigers.

Freshman big man Jeremiah Tilmon said the team's poor performance on offense in the first half was facilitated by sluggish defense. "We're not going to change very much".

And if anyone would understand the magnitude of their place in the Missouri record books, it'd be Cunningham, who is as close to a Missouri Tiger by blood as anyone could be.

Forrest led the way with a near triple-double, finishing with eight points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Williams scored 21 points and calmly pushed the pace on offense as the Cardinal created opportunities in transition. I think we're in a good spot. Don't get me wrong, I really like the talent and potential Porter Jr. has (we even share the same name!) However, I strongly suggest that he remains in college one more year to get in shape, relearn the speed and flow of the game, and to learn to trust his body again.

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"We went through a few possessions where they scored like, bang, bang, bang, and it was right back to 13", Jontay Porter said. Michael Porter, Jr., a freshman forward, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in his third and probably last collegiate game.

By the end of the first half, the Tigers trailed 42-20 and every Tiger was hanging his head.

Cofer scored on a tip-in, starting an 11-0 run capped by Savoy's 3-pointer. It was one of the best stretches of the season for the Seminoles.

Sophie Cunningham led the way for Mizzou with a season-high 35 points on 10-16 shooting.

FSU will now rematch with Xavier, who they lost to in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. "I feel like being able to do that helped". Porter Jr. followed with a foul of his own on a 3-point shot that saved the Seminoles with the shot clock winding down.

Here's our recap of last week's action and a preview of what's ahead for the Seminoles.

The win for the Thundering Herd marked the fourth consecutive season that one-bid Conference USA will send a team into the second round of the NCAA tournament.

She shot 10 for 16 but also committed five of her team's 16 turnovers. The basketball court was placed on top of the NHL's Nashville Predators' home ice and appeared to be slippery at times during FSU's win.