Florida State holds off Minnesota, 75-67, in ACC/Big Ten Challenge opener

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State holds off Minnesota, 75-67, in ACC/Big Ten Challenge opener

(AP) Jonathan Isaac and Dwayne Bacon continue to come through for Florida State.

Bacon scored a game-high 18 points and Isaac got his second double-double of the season (14 points, 13 rebounds) as the Seminoles defeated Minnesota 75-67 on Monday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“I was proud of those guys,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Dwayne’s shot selection was excellent and allowed pace to come to him. Jonathan asserted himself in the second half, especially getting rebounds.”

The Seminoles (6-1) shot just 34.6 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 33-31 at halftime. They opened the second half by making six of their first eight as part of a 15-5 run over the first five minutes to give them the lead for good.

Bacon, who scored 14 points in the second half, had seven points during the run. Later in the half he had a breakaway dunk off an Isaac block to put FSU up 52-39 with 12:44 remaining.

“In the first half we played their game which was going down slow and not pushing it up the floor,” Bacon said. “In the second half we just adjusted to play faster, to get stops and move around.”

The Seminoles would lead by as many as 19 (70-51) with 5:01 remaining before the Golden Gophers (6-1) started to cut into the lead.

Bacon has led Florida State in scoring in six of their seven games while Isaac has been the leading rebounder in the past four.

“They made really good player plays. A couple of the times I turned to our guys and said `that’s a good play from a good player.’ I thought we played really solid defense,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said.

Akeem Springs and Nate Mason led Minnesota with 11 points. The Gophers came into the game shooting 47 percent from the field but was a season-worst 19 of 58 (32.8 percent).

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: The Gophers were seeking their first 7-0 start since 2008-09 but struggled in their first road game of the season. With five newcomers, Pitino saw the game as a good early test before conference play starts later this month.

Florida State: The Seminoles snapped an eight-game losing streak in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and went 2-1 during a stretch of three games in five days. Both of those wins came against Big Ten teams.

LETDOWN

Minnesota’s Amir Coffey, who came into the game leading the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game, was held to a season-low seven points. The freshman guard was 3 of 10 from the field and got into early foul trouble.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Florida State had a decisive 40-18 advantage in points in the paint.

Senior center Michael Ojo had 12 points, marking his second double-figure scoring game of the season and third of his career, and sophomore Christ Koumadje had seven points.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: The Gophers face Vanderbilt on Saturday in a neutral-site game at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is the second straight season the Gophers are playing a game in Sioux Falls.

Florida State: The Seminoles will take part in the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C., on Sunday as they will play George Washington.

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