Devon Bookert chipped in 11 points and Montay Brandon had 10
for the top-seeded Seminoles (22-13), who advanced to next
week's Final Four in New York City, where they will face
Minnesota at Madison Square Garden. Florida State nearly blew an
eight-point lead in the final 40 seconds before holding on to
win for the seventh time in nine games.
Third-seeded Louisiana Tech (29-8) was led by Kenneth Smith's 16
points, career-high 14 rebounds and six assists. Alex Hamilton
and Chris Anderson combined to shoot just 5-of-23 for a total of
With about three minutes remaining, back-to-back layups by
Louisiana Tech brought the Bulldogs within 71-68 before Brandon
hit a jumper and Bookert followed with a 3-pointer to push the
Seminoles' lead back to 76-68. Aided by four points from Smith,
a 3-pointer by Raheem Appleby and some missed free throws by
Florida State, Louisiana Tech clawed its way back in the final
minute before Appleby missed two 3-pointers in the final 10
seconds, including one at the buzzer.
White scored 14 first-half points as the Seminoles led 37-33 at
intermission. The Bulldogs scored 10 of the first 12 points of
the second half and led most of the stanza until Ian Miller's
3-pointer with just over seven minutes to play snapped a 60-60
tie and gave Florida State the lead for good.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Cordarius Johnson had 11 first-half points for
the Bulldogs but did not score after intermission. ... Louisiana
Tech won at Florida State in the opening round of last season's
NIT. ... Smith had not recorded more than seven rebounds in any
game this season and had not surpassed 10 boards in any game
during his three-year career at Louisiana Tech.
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