TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's Solomon Alabi was causing problems for Auburn even before the teams took the court Thursday. Then he made things even worse for the Tigers.
Alabi equaled a career high with 22 points to lead Florida State to a 76-72 win. The 7-foot-1 Nigerian was 7-for-10 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. He also led the Seminoles with nine rebounds.
"You just can't simulate that size and strength and length (in practice)," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said. "When they need one, they go to him."
The win extended the Seminoles' home win streak to nine, including seven this season.
Alabi scored all but two of his points in the second half but got little help as the Seminoles (9-2) blew a 14-point lead. In one stretch, Alabi scored nine straight.
"All I was thinking when I got the ball was, 'Feed that big man,' " said Michael Snaer, who scored 14 for FSU. "As soon as I got the ball I looked up, and if I saw him open, I was going right to him."
Both of Auburn's post players fouled out in the second half. That forced Lebo to put in freshman Ty Armstrong. That didn't go unnoticed by Alabi.
"I told Derwin (Kitchen): 'This guy is a freshman. I'm going to show him some experience,' " Alabi said.
The Tigers (5-5) held Alabi in check in the first half by double teaming, but the sophomore said he made some adjustments.
"I kind of understood the way they played," he said. "Yes, I got more physical."