TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida State Seminoles put on their best shooting display of the season to advance to the NIT quarterfinals.
The top-seeded ‘Noles shot a season-high 68.2 percent from the field during a 101-90 victory Monday night against Georgetown.
“You have some of those nights,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “But we have shot the ball fairly well all season long. ... These are the same guys we had last year, they were freshmen. I think they worked hard to improve some of their skills.
“We haven’t had very many games when everybody’s playing well at the same time.”
The Seminoles will host third-seeded Louisiana Tech on Wednesday night for the chance to play in the semifinals in Madison Square Garden in New York.
Florida State (21-13) also shot 68.8 percent from behind the arc, knocking down 11 3-pointers. The 101 points scored were the most by Florida State since a 106-62 win against Charlotte on Dec. 17. The Hoyas (18-15) hadn’t allowed 100 points in regulation since the 2000-01 season.
“They were making threes no matter what defense we threw at them,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “We tried a little bit of everything. Nothing was really effective today.
“We emphasized we have to protect the 3-point line. They’ve got guys that can shoot and you know that, fellas. You’ve got to get out there and guard them. It was said much differently than that, but that was the essence of the halftime talk.”
Florida State guard Aaron Thomas matched a career-high with 26 points and Devon Bookert had career-highs in points (21) and assists (nine) while adding five rebounds and two steals. Ian Miller returned from a foot injury to score 18, and Okaro White finished with 16.
“Guys don’t have egos on this team,” Thomas said. “Guys are willing to give up shots for a better shot.
“It’s a lot of fun to see shots fall and to shoot a real good percentage like that. Goes to show we’re capable of that when we’re focused and being disciplined.”
Markel Starks ended his Georgetown career with 27 points and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera chipped in 22.
Florida State closed the first half with a 15-5 run to take a 13-point lead into halftime that the Hoyas never fully recovered from. Miller hit a pair of triples and Bookert tossed an alley-oop to Jarquez White during the stretch. The Seminoles led 36-33 when Boris Bojanovsky and Georgetown’s Bradley Hayes were hit with technical fouls after jawing back and forth. Miller immediately buried his first 3 after, and then knocked down another from the top of the key on the following possession. Thomas closed the half with a four-point play, getting fouled as he knocked down the Seminoles’ eighth triple of the half.
“That gave us a lot of momentum, especially going into the half,” Bookert said. “It gave us that extra boost.”