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Saturday, November 17, 2012
Rapid Reaction: FSU 73, St. Joe's 66

By Kieran Darcy

What it means: Florida State is your 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic champion.

The Seminoles (3-1) followed up an 88-70 pasting of BYU on Friday with a 73-66 victory over St. Joseph's in the championship game, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

St. Joe’s (2-1) notched an impressive overtime win over No. 20 Notre Dame in the semifinals, but will leave the Big Apple disappointed, feeling they had a chance to win this game as well.

The skinny: The first half was a back-and-forth affair – nine lead changes, and neither team led by more than four. A dunk by Florida State forward Terrance Shannon at the buzzer gave the Seminoles a 36-32 leading heading into the locker room.

The second half started with more of the same – St. Joe’s went back up by four early, Florida State went on a 9-0 run to surge ahead by five, then St. Joe’s posted five straight points to tie the game at 52. That’s when the Seminoles took the lead for good, starting with an Okaro White dunk off a set play coming out of the under-12 media timeout. The Hawks hung around for a while after that, but Florida State eventually put them away.

Star watch: Florida State star guard Michael Snaer scored 14 points, but the Seminoles were led by the junior forwards White (16 points) and Shannon (15 points, 10 rebounds). Shannon scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half.

For St. Joe’s, Ronald Roberts followed up a 21-point, 16-rebound performance against Notre Dame on Friday with another double-double Saturday – 15 points, 11 rebounds. Also, Carl Jones – the team’s leading scorer last year, who was suspended for the first two games of this season – scored 13 points off the bench in his season 2012-13 debut.

Number crunch: St. Joe’s shot itself in the foot at the foul line, making just 16 of 26 free throws. Seven of those 10 misses came in the second half, proving very costly. The Hawks also shot just 4-for-21 from beyond the arc (19 percent), while the Seminoles were 6-for-13 (46.2 percent). Langston Galloway and C.J. Aiken were both 0-for-5.

What’s next: Florida State has one more game before Thanksgiving, hosting North Florida on Wednesday.

St. Joseph’s will play Harvard, the defending Ivy League champs, in Philadelphia on Tuesday. That won’t be easy.