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FSU holds off rally in hard-fought win over Louisville

Times wires
Published: February 3, 2018 Updated: February 3, 2018 at 09:22 PM
Florida State guard M.J. Walker (23) drives past the defense of Louisville forward Dwayne Sutton (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. Florida State won, 80-76. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Terance Mann couldn’t mope over two missed free throws that could have sealed Florida State’s victory. There was still work to do on the other end to make sure Louisville didn’t take advantage.

The junior guard quickly redeemed himself by delivering a timely block of VJ King’s shot with six seconds left, and Braian Angola grabbed the rebound and fed M.J. Walker for a dunk with one second left that clinched the Seminoles’ 80-76 win Saturday.

In just 11 seconds, Mann went from feeling stress to elation after a hard-fought win that helped FSU (17-6, 6-5 ACC) avenge last month’s loss to Louisville that broke a 28-game home winning streak.

"I missed the free throws, and I knew I had to guard the ball and get a stop," said Mann, FSU’s top scorer who entered the game hitting 72 percent from the line. "I knew they’d be driving to the basket aggressively, I just had to buck up and play defense.

"It was just happening in the moment. I used my defensive principles and got the stop."

Phil Cofer scored 11 of his 16 in the second half, Angola added 13 points and Mann and Christ Koumadje had 11 each for FSU, which broke a tie at 57 in the second half with six straight points, ending with Cofer’s three-point play with 7:36 left.

The Seminoles’ lead stretched to eight a couple of times before they had to fight off the Cardinals’ charge that got them within 78-76 with 24.7 seconds left. Mann’s missed free throws with 17.4 seconds left opened the door for Louisville before his block finally tilted things toward FSU in a game featuring 11 lead changes and seven ties.

"We’re very fortunate to hang on there for a victory," Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said.

"I was very proud of our guys because Louisville took us to the woodshed at our place. I felt like our guys were a little bit more poised with the exception of the two turnovers there toward the end of the game."

In bouncing back from its loss to Wake Forest, FSU also handed Louisville (16-7, 6-4) its second straight ACC defeat for the first time in nearly two years.