Florida St tops Jacksonville 91-67 in opener

KAREEM COPELAND (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Devon Bookert scored 16 points while leading Florida State to a 91-67 win against Jacksonville in the season opener Friday.

The Seminoles have to have stellar play from their point guard, and Bookert provided it.

Jacksonville (0-1) forced Florida State (1-0) into a slow start with a defensive zone and a full-court press that gave the Dolphins a 26-23 lead with 7:31 left in the first half. The Seminoles answered with a 20-10 run, including 10 points from Montay Brandon, to go into halftime leading 43-36.

A Vince Martin 3-pointer cut the lead to 50-45, but the Dolphins never got any closer.

Florida State forward Okaro White finished with game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds while Brandon added a career-high 15 points. Bookert also had nine rebounds and five steals to go along with his 16 points. Jarvis Haywood led Jacksonville with 15 points while Martin chipped in 13 points, five assists and five steals.

Hamilton repeatedly stressed the need for his team to attack the rim and pick up the defense this season - neither happened in abundance during the first half. The 26-23 Dolphins lead was heavily influenced by three 3-point baskets from Haywood. Most of the half was choppy for the Seminoles, but Bookert carried the load with 13 points, five boards and four steals in the first 20 minutes.

Florida State picked up its defensive effort in the second half, and Jacksonville shot 37 percent from the field in the second half after shooting 44.8 percent in the first. The Seminoles used their size advantage to get good looks and shot 53.3 percent.

Florida State also outrebounded Jacksonville 41-28.

The Seminoles travel to Central Florida on Wednesday while the Dolphins host Florida College on Tuesday.

Notes: Ian Miller and Aaron Thomas did not play in the first half due to a suspension that kept the two out of both exhibition games. Miller scored eight points in 18 minutes.

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