Rapid Reaction: FSU 66, St. Bonaventure 63

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
5:31
PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Breaking down No. 3 seed Florida State’s 66-63 win over No. 14 seed St. Bonaventure in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bridgestone Arena:

Overview: Florida State, after trailing the entire game, took its first lead at 55-52 with 5:19 remaining on Ian Miller's 3-pointer. The Seminoles never trailed again, but had to fight off a St. Bonaventure team that looked and played a lot better than your typical No. 14 seed.

The Bonnies led by as many as 10 points in the first half and were seemingly in command the whole way. But the Seminoles made clutch 3-pointers down the stretch and were able to slow down the Bonnies’ star player, Andrew Nicholson, for much of the second half. Nicholson finished with 20 points, but went nearly 16 minutes without a basket in the second half.

Turning point: St. Bonaventure was leading by four points with a little more than eight minutes to play when sophomore guard Charlon Kloof drove the baseline and missed a dunk. It could have put the Bonnies up by six and taken an already pro-St. Bonaventure crowd to another decibel level. Instead, the Seminoles came back and scored, making it a two-point game.

Key player: Florida State senior forward Bernard James was 8-of-11 from the field with 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. His dunk after the Seminoles missed a layup in transition tied the game at 52-52.

Key stat: Nicholson made all five of his shots in the first half for the Bonnies, but picked up his third foul with 16:34 left in the game. His 3-pointer pulled St. Bonaventure within three points with just under two minutes to play. It was his first basket since the 17:23 mark, as he made just 3-of-12 shots in the second half.

Miscellaneous: The Seminoles got key contributions off the bench from Okaro White and Miller. White drained a 3-pointer with a second left on the shot clock with a minute to play. But his biggest play was a tap-out after a missed free throw by Deividas Dulkys with 25.2 seconds remaining and the Seminoles clinging to a 65-63 lead. Miller also made two of his four 3-point attempts. … Florida State’s bench outscored St. Bonaventure 22-11. … The Seminoles have now won six in a row.

What’s next: Florida State (25-9) advances to the third round to face Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bearcats won earlier Friday over Texas in the second round.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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