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FSU falls in first round of NIT

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State won't forget Louisiana Tech's Raheem Appleby soon.

The rail-thin 6-foot-3 sophomore lit up the Seminoles for 21 of his 27 points in the second half to help Louisiana Tech snap a season-ending three-game losing streak with a 71-66 win at FSU in a first-round NIT game Tuesday night.

Freshman Alex Hamilton, who hails from nearby Chipley, added 16 points to help the Bulldogs rally from a nine-point second-half deficit.

Appleby, who made 12 of 19 shots, hit three baskets in a 52-second span to key an 11-0 run that gave fifth-seeded Louisiana Tech a 37-35 lead.

"That really got me going," Appleby said. "When I get going, I feel real good with my flow and that's what happened in the second half."

The fourth-seeded Seminoles (18-16) couldn't find an answer as Appleby hit 9 of 12 shots in the second half, when the Bulldogs shot 65.5 percent.

"To do it against a really good defensive program like Florida State really has to give him a lot of confidence," Bulldogs coach Michael White said.

"They were a little more aggressive," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said, noting the Seminoles' 18 turnovers. "They were quicker to the ball and created those deflections and opportunities because of playing at that high level of energy that we just didn't seem to match."

Louisiana Tech (27-6) will meet either Southern Miss and Charleston Southern next. "We were 26-3 and came in here 26-6," White said of the skid that may have cost his club an NCAA Tournament berth. "But this heals a couple of wounds."

Michael Snaer had 24 points in his final game for the Seminoles, and junior Okaro White, the former Clearwater High standout, added 11.

FSU falls in first round of NIT

03/19/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:22am]
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