Saturday, March 17, 2012

Florida State Hangs On

JAMES (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
FLORIDA STATE 66, St. Bonaventure 63 – Florida State gave themselves and the ACC a scare, but the Noles sorted it out just enough to get past the 14th seeded Bonnies.

Bernard James scored 19 points and the Seminoles (25-9) shook off a slow start and won their sixth straight game, including their run to the ACC championship last week. They will play sixth-seeded Cincinnati on Sunday in the third round of the East Regional.

Apparently James did more than just play.

“We just kept saying over and over again we don’t want to go home,” Seminole Luke Loucks said. “We don’t want to watch the rest of this tournament from our couches. In the midst of that, B.J. kept screaming at me, `Get me the ball. I’m going to finish.’ When a 6-foot-10 … Air Force vet is screaming at you, you listen.”

James scored 11 in the second half, perhaps none bigger than his dunk off a missed fast-break layup by Loucks that tied it at 52.

NBA prospect Andrew Nicholson scored 20 points and Demetrius Conger had 14 for St. Bonaventure (20-12), which was trying to win an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1970.

Nicholson, the senior physics major, hit his first six shots and four of five from beyond the arc. He also grabbed seven rebounds while trying to put the final piece into the rebuilding of this program that hadn’t won a postseason game since the 1995 NIT.

Michael Snaer, Florida State’s top scorer, picked up his second foul within the first 3 minutes and didn’t score a point for the first time this season. He played only 5 minutes in the first half and missed all seven of his shots, including five beyond the arc.

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