NEW YORK — Florida State had a game coaches dream about: The Seminoles shot well and defended like their lives depended on it.
"I thought for a young team we displayed an ability to score even though we're in synch. We had some mishaps while trying to learn," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Defensively, that was one of our better nights."
The Seminoles shot 58 percent and made 11 of 20 3-pointers in an 88-70 victory over BYU in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic semifinals Friday night at the Barclays Center, the new home of the NBA's Nets.
The defense Hamilton was so happy about held the Cougars to 33 percent shooting overall and 6-of-25 from 3-point range.
"Thirty-three percent from the field surprised our coaches and players," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "Florida State sped us up, and we took some quick shots, but besides that, Florida State shoots 58 percent from the field.
"Our defense was slow. Our rotations were slow. (FSU) did a great job of finding the open man and made some great passes along the baseline."
Florida State (2-1) plays Saint Joseph's, a 79-70 upset winner over No. 20 Notre Dame in overtime, in tonight's championship game.
Former Clearwater High star Okaro White had 17 points for the Seminoles. Michael Snaer had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Ian Miller and Devon Bookert both had 15 points.
Snaer has more to do than score and rebound, Hamilton said.
"Michael, being a senior on such a young team, has at some points forced his will on this team," Hamilton said of last season's ACC Tournament MVP. "He wants all the dirty work, the toughest defensive assignment. He wants to take the big shot or be on the (free-throw) line at the end of the game. He led by example for the seven new players."
One of those seven, freshman point guard Bookert, agreed.
"He's a guy who has been there and done that," said Bookert, who was 5-for-7 from the field and had five assists. "He is cool all the time, but he's tough when he thinks he has to be."
The Seminoles went into the game shooting 38.5 percent on 3-pointers but they made 11-of-20 as they led by as many as 27 in the second half. They shot 58 percent (29-for-50) from the field overall and held down a BYU offense that went in averaging 80.5 points per game.
Tyler Haws had 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Cougars (2-1) who were within 50-43 with 17:30 to play.
FSU then went on a 13-0 run to put the game away.