Archive for Friday, March 18, 2011

Florida State defense stifles Texas A&M for victory

Texas A&M's Khris Middleton (22) and Florida State's Bernard James (5) scramble for a loose ball in the second half of a second-round NCAA Southwest Regional tournament college basketball game in Chicago, Friday, March 18, 2011. Florida State won 57-50.

Texas A&M's Khris Middleton (22) and Florida State's Bernard James (5) scramble for a loose ball in the second half of a second-round NCAA Southwest Regional tournament college basketball game in Chicago, Friday, March 18, 2011. Florida State won 57-50.

March 18, 2011

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— After seven minutes, the score was Florida State 7, Texas A&M; 0. Fans might have been tempted to ask how the Seminoles had scored their touchdown.

"That was a weird game," said Mark Turgeon, who, for the record, coaches Texas A&M;'s basketball team. "We started out so poorly."

The Aggies responded well enough to lead by eight in the second half, but Florida State dominated the game's final 17-plus minutes to earn the right to face Notre Dame on Sunday at the United Center.

The 10th-seeded Seminoles' strangling defense keyed a 30-11 run in their 57-50 victory.

Florida State blocked 10 shots and held the Aggies to 31.4 percent shooting to advance to the second round.

"FSU can guard, guys," Turgeon said of the national leader in field-goal percentage defense. "They can flat-out guard. I know Notre Dame can shoot it at all five positions, but ... it should be a heck of a game."

The Aggies said the game changed when Florida State switched to a 3-2 zone.

"We just couldn't get any good looks," said Khris Middleton, who scored a game-high 16 points but shot just 2-for-7 in the second half.

And the Seminoles got a boost from the return of forward Chris Singleton, who had not played since Feb. 12 because of a fractured right foot. Singleton played 16 minutes Friday and hit a 3-pointer that gave his team a 45-40 lead.

Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said he "reluctantly" OK'd Singleton's return "because he doubled-up on rehab and had such a strong desire to be back with his teammates."

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