Cardinals run away from Seminoles
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Expecting a fierce fight against Florida State, No. 17 Louisville instead ran away from the Seminoles with one of its most complete efforts this season.
Quentin Snider scored 20 points, Damion Lee added 14, and the Cardinals had no problem with Florida State in an 84-65 victory on Wednesday night. The lead grew to 29 points before the Seminoles scored the final 10 points, the only blemish on an otherwise stellar night.
"It was a great performance by our guys," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whose team was never challenged past the opening minutes in winning its second straight Atlantic Coast Conference game.
Louisville (15-3, 4-1 ACC) shot 48 percent and outrebounded Florida State 44-36. Pitino was especially happy with the Cardinals' 57 touches in the paint that he believed was a team record.
Chinanu Onuaku had 14 rebounds and 11 points for his fifth straight double-double, all coming in league play.
Freshman guard Donovan Mitchell added 13 points for the Cardinals, including a monstrous one-handed dunk in the first half that charged a crowd of 21,349 in the late-evening game. Leading 22-15 at that point, Louisville never looked back in building a lead that reached 32.
Malik Beasley scored 23 points and Devon Bookert had 18 in his first start of the season for Florida State (12-6, 2-4), which had its two-game winning streak stopped.
"We knew coming into the game (the Cardinals) averaged about 15 offensive rebounds," Beasley said. "We wanted to cut that down to seven, but that got out of hand quick. Guards didn't crack down and box out. Bigs didn't box out. We just didn't do a good job of rebounding."
Snider made 8 of 12 from the field including 3 of 4 3-pointers to finish a point off his career high achieved two weeks ago against North Carolina State.
Dwayne Bacon had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles, who played without sophomore guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes on the decision of coach Leonard Hamilton. Hamilton didn't elaborate afterward, and Rathan-Mayes' presence might not have made much of a difference against a Louisville squad that played impressively after six days off.
Though the Seminoles shot 42 percent, they made just 9 of 21 free throws.
"We just didn't have that mental and emotional focus that it takes to come and play against a team that played as well as Louisville did tonight," Hamilton said.
Florida State: Beasley scored 15 of the Seminoles' first 29 points, including 13 in the first half. ... Benji Bell, Terance Mann and Chris Koumadje combined for FSU's other nine points.
Louisville: Trey Lewis entered the game needing nine points to reach 1,300 for his career but finished with six along with five assists and three rebounds. ... The crowd featured former Cardinals and Denver Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson, now an NFL analyst for ESPN.
ABOUT THAT DUNK
Mitchell was behind the 3-point line when Lee launched a 3 from the left side. He was moving toward the basket in hopes of getting the rebound but ended up making one of the season's most spectacular slam dunks as he snatched the miss with one hand and put it back through in one motion.
"I've been waiting for that for a long, long time," the 6-foot-3 Mitchell said. "Once you have a dunk like that, it elevates your play."
SEMINOLES' PLAN B
Florida State senior Devon Bookert made his first start of the season in place of Rathan-Mayes and completed a unique starting five of surnames beginning with the letter B: Bacon, Beasley, Boris Bojanovsky and Montay Brandon. According to STATS LLC, the last time a team started players with same-letter last names was Mississippi's women against Kentucky on Feb. 28, 2013. The Rebels' starters all had surnames starting with M.
Florida State: hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Louisville: visits Georgia Tech on Saturday.