Big win for the Tigers! That was just the shot in the arm they needed after that crazy double-overtime loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday night. FSU had won 5 straight games, and they're always tough to beat at home. It was tied at halftime, but the Tigers pulled away in the second half despite the entire front court being in foul trouble and Leyte leaving the game after a few minutes with a shoulder injury. In fact, Ian fouled out with a few minutes left. Ordinarily, that would be a recipe for disaster against a team as big, physical and deep as FSU, but thank goodness Jack Clark was finally available because without him, they likely would have lost. Also, Beadle probably had the best game in his young career, scoring a career-high 12 points. He would have had 14 if not for missing a couple free throws, but he had an impressive 3-point play in which he absorbed the contact of the Noles' 6'11 Miller and still finished with his left hand. It seems like he's turned a corner. The Tigers have won 3 straight versus FSU for the first time since 2005-2006!
Brownell went with a zone defense for most of the game, which is highly unusual. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him use that much zone defense in a game before, and it was just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers' recent defensive struggles. 3 of their previous 5 opponents had scored over 90 points, but they held the Noles to just 67 and on the road! It will be interesting to see if Brownell continues to use zone going forward. It worked against the Noles, but they are the worst 3-point shooting team in the ACC. It might not be as successful at Duke next Saturday.
My post-game interviews and highlights are below!