It started off in a similar fashion to something FSU fans had seen eighteen hours earlier. After nearly six minutes into the game Florida State had racked up six turnovers and trailed 10-4.
Déjà vu all over again.
When Jordon DeMercy let a pass slip right through his hands on a two-on-one break and a baseline jumper by Alabama’s Troy Mitchell, the Seminoles still trailed 17-11 at the 6:35 mark.
The game at the point had a very similar feel to Thursday night’s game when FSU racked up 27 turnovers, just one off the tournament record.
That’s when Devidas Dulkys and Chris Singleton hit the next 16 points for the ‘Noles. Dulkys nailed three straight three pointers, two from the right corner, the other from the left, and Singleton connected two bombs from each wing, the last right before the buzzer sounded, to give FSU a 30-25 lead.
Florida State never trailed again in defeating the Crimson Tide 60-51.
Key in the victory was something the Seminoles did not do the night before -- namely sharing the ball. Of FSU’s twenty baskets, fifteen involved passes from teammates. The ‘Noles dished 15 assists, six by Derwin Kitchen and three by Luke Loucks while turning over the ball just once between the two point guards.
The difference between the game the previous night against Iona and Alabama was night and day. The FSU point guards consistently broke down the ‘Bama defense, especially Kitchen, driving to the basket and finding the open teammate either around the basket or sitting out at the perimeter.
Seminole teammates were only too happy to oblige, connecting on 9 of 13 threes and shooting 47% from the floor.
‘Bama closed the margin to 34-32 at the 15:33 mark but the ‘Noles went on an 8-0 run and maintained a 10 to 12 point lead until Tide guard Anthony Brock's three ball from the wing made it 50-42 with 6:25 left to play.
Kitchen took charge himself by making a short jumper in the lane to up the margin to ten, 52-42.
Singleton and Solomon Alabi connected on three of four free throws to make it 55-42 at the 4:46 mark.
Michael Snaer’s three from the right corner on assist from Loucks seemingly gave FSU firm control at 58-46 with just 3:30 remaining.
But a three point play by Mitchell and another ‘Bama basket sandwiched around a missed layup from Kitchen and Singleton dribbling the ball off his leg out of bounds made it a six point game, 58-51, with 1:41 on the clock.
After Alabi’s two charity shots with 1:25 left for the final points of the game, once again the Seminole defense held as Alabama could not get off a good shot.
Strangely ‘Bama did not intentionally foul the ‘Noles as Kitchen brought the ball back out from under the Tide's basket until only thirty three seconds remained, and even then only committed an accidental foul.
Loucks could not convert the freebies but again Alabama's last gasp attempt was off the mark and the ‘Noles simply ran out the clock.
Singleton led all scorers with 14 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Alabi added 10 points. Kitchen added 6 rebounds to go along with his 8 points.
Defensively the ’Noles defense held all Tide players under double digits, in particular leading scorer JaMychal Green, who had only eight points.
With the win the Seminoles will play for the championship of the Old Spice Classic, meeting Marquette, winners over Michigan, 79-65. Tipoff is at 7:30 Sunday.