Monday, June 18, 2018
Sports

Florida State comes from behind to beat St. Bonaventure 66-63 in NCAA Tournament

NASHVILLE — Florida State had trailed 14th-seeded St. Bonaventure from the opening tip, the newly crowned ACC champs falling behind by as many as 10 points and the Bonnies' faithful standing out in an emotional, vocal crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

Third seed FSU had trailed by six with 10 minutes to play and had rallied to tie, but its first two chances at its first lead had failed. Sophomore guard Ian Miller, who had opened the game 1-for-7 and missed a go-ahead shot a minute earlier, stepped up with a shot that put the Seminoles ahead for good, the centerpiece of a 16-2 run that let FSU escape with a 66-63 victory in the NCAA second round.

"That's what you live for," said Miller, who added a key assist a moment later on a Luke Loucks 3-pointer. "You're in the NCAA Tournament, you're in a big gym, and for me and my team, they know I can make big shots. They have confidence in me, and that helps me take shots like that."

FSU (25-9) advanced to face sixth seed Cincinnati on Sunday, getting a huge game from Bernard James with 19 points and nine rebounds, and a strong finish from Loucks and fellow Clearwater alumnus Okaro White, who combined for FSU's final 11 points.

"They came out fists swinging, and we didn't really hit back until maybe 10 minutes to go in the second half," said Loucks, who had 13 points and six assists. "So all the credit to them. We really, really had to fight to win that game."

St. Bonaventure (20-12), which made the NCAAs by winning the Atlantic-10 tournament as a No. 4 seed, got a huge game from forward Andrew Nicholson, who had 20 points and went 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Much of the defensive responsibility of limiting the NBA prospect went to James.

"I just felt like I did what my team needed," James said. "I played as hard as I could and, you know, wasn't being selfish … Our guards were kind of struggling a little bit with shooting, so I really needed to step up."

FSU held off a furious rally late — twice in the final minute, St. Bonaventure's Demitrius Conger hit 3-pointers to cut into FSU's lead, which was 65-63 with 27 seconds left. Deividas Dulkys missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but White leaped and flipped the loose ball out to Loucks, who was fouled. He hit one free throw, and the Bonnies missed two shots in the final four seconds to seal FSU's win.

"We did what we needed to do. We came here to win the game, and we were very close," Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. "It was a great college basketball game, great environment. Appreciate our fans coming out, they were terrific. Couldn't ask more."

FSU got more of a challenge than they might have expected, but the game was won with stout defense — in that 16-2 run, which gave FSU a 60-52 lead, the Bonnies went 1-for-10 with three turnovers in nearly eight minutes. That was key on a day when leading scorer Michael Snaer was scoreless for the first time in 98 career games with FSU.

"They gave us one of the best fights of our season," said Miller, who had eight points. "We came out a little flat, and St. Bonaventure, they executed on our non-energy. The second half, it was do or die, so we knew we had to turn it up on the defensive end."

Comments
As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SECís alcohol stance slowly shifting?

As USF-Yuengling bond grows, is SECís alcohol stance slowly shifting?

USF's expanded partnership with Yuengling — including naming rights to the Sun Dome — is only the latest part in an evolving relationship between college sports and alcohol, as my colleague, Joey Knight, wrote on the front page ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A sports story that we all can love

A sports story that we all can love

When we think of sports — hard-nosed, competitive sports — what words immediately come to mind? Tenacity. Grit. Guts. Perseverance. Courage. Intensity. Determination. You get the idea. Sports are usually cutthroat, give no quarter, sho...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays. The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Sundayís Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Sundayís Rays-Yankees game

The Rays remain committed to using an "opener" three times in five game stretches, but that seems to tax the bullpen too much. Wilmer Font showed Sunday that he should be able to handle starting, at least until Chris Archer returns.It was only one wi...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, June 18

TODAYBaseballYankees at Nationals7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Giants10 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Angels10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesOregon State vs. Washington2 p.m.ESPNNorth Carolina vs. Mississippi State7 p.m.ESPN...
Published: 06/17/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK ó The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays.The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last weekís p...
Published: 06/17/18

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Sundayís Rays-Yankees game

The Rays remain committed to using an "opener" three times in five game stretches, but that seems to tax the bullpen too much. Wilmer Font showed Sunday that he should be able to handle starting, at least until Chris Archer returns.e_SClBIt was only ...
Published: 06/17/18
Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

Rays leave New York with a smile after beating Yankees 3-1

NEW YORK ó You had seen this game before.So had the radio guys, the coaches, the manager, the players and, certainly, the bosses.The Rays grab an early lead over the Yankees. They look like they are headed to a rare win in the Bronx. And then when th...
Published: 06/17/18