Florida State won its first two games by an average of 33 points while averaging more than 100 points per game and shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 46.5 percent from the 3-point line. But whatever it was that worked in Tallahassee against Nicholls State and Jacksonville wasn’t working against Hofstra, FSU’s first KenPom Top 100 opponent of the year. In the first round of the Paradise Jam in the US Virgin Islands on Friday, the Pride defeated the Seminoles 82-77.
Hofstra didn’t shoot the ball particularly well as a team, but Brian Bernardi caught fire from deep early and finished with a team-high 24 points on 6-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers. Florida State didn’t have any answers, missing all 10 of its 3-point attempts in the first half and shooting just 39.7 percent from the field for the game.
After putting up 40 combined points on 15-of-25 shooting against Jacksonville and Nicholls State, freshman star Dwayne Bacon buckled up a little bit against Hofstra and never got settled (9 points for the game). It was fellow freshman Malik Beasley who carried the load for FSU in the second half, scoring 18 of his career-high 25 points after halftime — his third straight game with more than 20 points.
For Hofstra, this is a great win against a probable tournament team and it’s the second win for the Colonial Athletic Association against an ACC opponent (William & Mary knocked off NC State last Friday). Juan’ya Green was another bright spot for the Pride, with 17 points and seven assists from the point guard spot.
Florida State got punched in the mouth and wasn’t ready with an answer. Given all the new pieces in Leonard Hamilton’s rotation that shouldn’t be a huge surprise. What was surprising was how much success a Hofstra team that lacked some size and athleticism in the matchup was able to rebound well against the Seminoles.
Hofstra will play the winner of South Carolina-DePaul on Sunday while FSU will play the loser on Saturday.