Balanced Seminoles roll to 73-50 victory over UCFBy BRENT KALLESTAD, Associated Press Monday, Nov 14, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Florida State’s Bernard James has been known mostly for his defense and shot-blocking skills. That may be changing.
The 6-foot-10 James had 18 points and 11 rebounds—career-highs in both— on Monday while notching his fifth career double-double to lead the 25th-ranked Seminoles to a 73-50 victory over Central Florida.
“His length bothered us on the defensive end as well as his ability now to score,” UCF coach Donnie Jones said. “It makes him a two-headed monster.”
James had 14 points and eight rebounds in the second half.
“He’s only getting better and better,” Jones said. “He was terrific.”
The former Air Force sergeant had three blocked shots and could have had more points if not for missing six of eight free throws.
“It’s horrible,” James said. “I’ll be putting up free throws all week long.”
Michael Snaer added 15 points for the Seminoles, who held their largest lead at 71-47 with 1:32 left.
Two other members of Florida State’s big front line, 6-11 Xavier Gibson, and husky 6-8 Terrance Shannon, added 12 and 10 points. Gibson led the way for the Seminoles in the first half with nine points and six rebounds.
Tristan Spurlock led UCF (1-1) with 12 points, while Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton both had 11. The Knights shot just 30.5 percent from the field and were 8 of 20 at the free throw line.
Florida State (2-0) shot 50.9 percent from the field and had a 46-31 rebound advantage.
James’ career night came just three nights after Shannon achieved the same feat with career-highs in scoring and rebounding.
Shannon, who had a double-double in Florida State’s opener against Jacksonville with 15 points and 12 rebounds, scored in double figures again in scoring while playing 20 minutes.
Florida State, which returns all but two players from last season’s team that advanced to the NCAA’s round of 16, led 29-21 at halftime.
“We executed a lot better in the second half and moved the ball,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Central Florida managed to hang in with the taller Seminoles despite shooting just 29 percent in the first half and losing the rebound battle by a 24-17 margin.
UCF shot 20 percent from 3-point range while Florida State wasn’t much better at 21.4 percent. Clanton made 2 of 4 from 3-point distance while Snaer connected on 2 of 6.
“We contained their drivers and contested the shooters,” said Hamilton, who was unhappy about Jacksonville shooting 50 percent in the second half of Friday night’s 79-67 win. “We thought we’d make them a little meaner.”
UCF didn’t get to the line in the opening half, but shot 40 percent from the free throw line in the second half.
The score was tied three times early in the first half before Jeff Peterson’s layup gave the Seminoles the lead for good at 12-10.
A.J. Rompza did not play for a second straight game amid an NCAA investigation into recruiting within UCF’s basketball and football programs. P.J. Gaynor and Jordan, who were held out of UCF’s opener against St. Thomas on Saturday, both played.