Thursday, April 19, 2018
Sports

Florida State beats Georgia Tech, helps NCAA Tournament hopes

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton doesn't want to fixate on the NCAA Tournament. His team now has 17 wins after beating Georgia Tech 81-71 on Sunday, but its postseason position is anything but solid.

"We can't spend a whole lot of time worrying about something that's that far away," said Hamilton, whose team goes to Boston College and hosts No. 4 Syracuse in its final regular-season games. "We can't worry about the selection committee or whether we're in or whether you're out, RPI and BPI.

"There have been a lot of teams over the years that have been in the situation that we're in, and they've played their way (into the tournament). We can be one of those teams. We will mention it, yes, but harping on it won't do any good."

Clearwater High graduate Okaro White scored 18 and Devon Bookert 16 off the bench (including 4-of-4 on 3-pointers) for FSU (17-11, 8-8 ACC).

"I don't think there's a day we don't think about (the tournament)," White said. "We're basketball players. We watch ESPN. All they're talking about is the No. 1 seed or No. 2 seed, and then they're talking about the bubble teams. We're always on that list.

"But we understand we've got to go ahead and finish out this regular season strong in order to get to where we need to be."

Robert Carter scored 20 for Georgia Tech (13-16, 4-12), which has lost four in a row. It made just 25 of 69 shots from the field (36.2 percent), including 5 of 27 3-pointers.

"I think they're squarely an NCAA-caliber tournament team," coach Brian Gregory said of FSU. "They could probably win a couple games with their size and athletic ability."

Up 34-31, the Seminoles opened the second half with a 15-7 run from which the Yellow Jackets never recovered. FSU made 11 of 18 shots from the field and 22 of 25 free throws during the half.

"We're just trying to make the best of the situation we're in," Bookert said.

"Just trying to make it as far as we can go."

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