PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Florida State has played a lot of defensive games the past couple of years. It worked to perfection last season, when the Seminoles reached the Sweet 16 and led the nation in opponent field goal percentage.
Only this time it was FSU struggling to score against Harvard's sturdy defense.
The Seminoles shot 36 percent in a 46-41 loss to the Crimson in Friday's semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
"They were much more physical than we were inside, even though we were bigger and stronger," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.
"We got outplayed, probably got outcoached, and you just got to give them credit. They wanted the game more than us, they were tougher, more physical, and they made better decisions with the game on the line. They deserved to win the basketball game."
Brandyn Curry had six points, five assists and five steals for Harvard (5-0), which is coming off the first Ivy League title in school history last season. Oliver McNally and Wesley Saunders had seven points apiece.
"I don't think I've ever seen a game like that," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "I find it hard to see how we were able to come out on top against a nationally ranked, outstanding defensive team in Florida State."
The Seminoles (5-1) missed their first 15 shots. Michael Snaer led FSU with 10 points, and Luke Loucks of Clearwater had eight.
Curry keyed the victory with his solid play down the stretch.
"Brandyn is our best playmaker," Amaker said.
The halftime score was 14-14, matching the lowest total for a half in a Division I game since 1986. Ole Miss (15) and South Carolina (13) combined for 28 in the first half on Jan. 8, 2003. The Seminoles were 5-for-24 from the field in the half, Harvard 3-for-23.
Snaer's layup gave the Seminoles a 24-23 lead with 9:48 left, but Harvard countered with an 8-0 run. FSU pulled within three on Bernard James' layup with 2:33 left, but Curry made a 3 from the left corner.
Keith Wright had eight rebounds to help the Crimson outrebound the Seminoles 40-30. FSU faces No. 4 Connecticut in today's consolation game.