Game Report by Bill from Tampa
Crittenton scored 29 points in leading Georgia Tech to a 63-57 win over the Seminoles breaking a string of 17 straight road losses for the Yellow Jackets.
In a key stretch in the second half where FSU could not score one point in almost nine minutes, Crittenton scored 11 straight points to erase a five point FSU lead and give Tech a lead they would never relinquish.
Having your first and second scorers on the bench is never a
good scenario for winning a basketball game. With Douglas out with a fractured hand and Al Thornton saddled with four fouls, FSU went ice cold in the second half shooting a horrid 24% from the floor.
Still the ‘Noles had a chance to avoid the loss had it not been for Thornton exerting his will by scoring 11 of his 16 points over the last five minutes of the game.
Thornton’s offensive putback off a missed three by Ralph Mims with 1:37 left pulled FSU to within two points, 52-50.
With twenty three seconds left his three ball made it a one possession game at 58-55 followed by a slam dunk off an offensive rebound seconds later to make it 60-57.
And that was with the back injury he suffered in the Boston College game on Sunday.
“Clearly Al was not himself. You could see that out there tonight.” Leonard Hamilton said afterwards.
Unfortunately Tech did not miss from the charity stripe fending off the Seminoles comeback attempt.
Isaiah Swann led the Seminoles with a career high 23 points but could only manage six after Thornton went out with his fourth foul early in the second half. Swann’s stop-and-pop jumper with 14:59 left in the half gave FSU a 40-35 lead. It would be the last points the Tribe would score until Thornton’s two free throws at the 5:22 mark.
In commenting on his team’s offensive struggles Hamilton said, “We don’t have the ability to post up or draw fouls. We create points off the jump shot. That is who we are and when those are not dropping we have trouble manufacturing points.”
“We couldn’t get in any offensive rhythm in the second half,” added Hamilton. “Isaiah stepped up but not enough other guys stepped up to help him out.”
Florida State got down early 13-6 on the strength of 3 three pointers, two by Crittenton, and a couple of easy layups off the pick and roll.
But Swann scored eight points in the last minutes of the first half to give FSU a 35-30 lead at intermission.
However, both Ryan Reid and Uche Echefu each had three fouls and Thornton picked up his third and fourth fouls in less than two minutes.
That was followed by Crittenton’s offensive outburst scoring from behind the arc, off his defense, and pounding the boards for the offensive rebound.
“Georgia Tech was going thru one guy that we didn’t have an answer for,” Hamilton commented.
With FSU fighting for a NCAA invitation, the loss is a setback towards that goal. Still optimistic Hamilton said “We will have to find a way to reach down. That’s what good teams do. That’s where we are at.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the ‘Noles as they travel to Virginia on Saturday and the Cavaliers’ new John Paul Jones arena, a place that has been a difficult place to win for visiting teams so far this season. Tip off is at 1:00 PM and will be aired by Raycom.