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Florida State shakes off Duke hangover, tops North Florida

Less than 48 hours after upsetting the Blue Devils, the Seminoles have a “dip in ... emotion” but win 86-73.
FSU's Caleb Mills, here shooting against No. 6 Duke on Tuesday, scores 21 Thursday in a win over North Florida.
FSU's Caleb Mills, here shooting against No. 6 Duke on Tuesday, scores 21 Thursday in a win over North Florida. [ MARK WALLHEISER | AP ]
Published Jan. 21

TALLAHASSEE — Caleb Mills scored 21, freshman Matthew Cleveland added a season-high 21 points with 10 rebounds and Florida State beat North Florida 86-73 Thursday at the Tucker Center.

The Seminoles were in prime position for a letdown in the nonconference matchup following Tuesday’s overtime win against No. 6 Duke. But instead, they won their fifth in a row, but not without some struggles.

“Obviously, I thought we had a little bit of a dip in terms of our emotion,” coach Leonard Hamilton said, referencing the Duke game. “That just shows some of the areas we have to grow as a team to get to that point where we’re consistent, at what we call that magic level on a more consistent basis.

“We had our moments where we played good, I think we executed well. We didn’t sustain it for the whole 40 minutes.”

Mills scored eight of his 15 first-half points in the final five minutes to help FSU (12-5) lead by double figures.

Cleveland started an 18-3 second-half run to build a 74-56 lead. The Ospreys (4-15) stayed close by making 14 3-pointers and cutting their deficit to three with 14:13 left. But they eventually were undone by 19 turnovers that the Seminoles turned into 21 points.

FSU also continued to get strong bench play with 43 points compared to 20 for the reserves of North Florida, which played without its top two scorers in Jose Placer and Carter Hendricksen.

The Seminoles were without forward Malik Osborne, who played 31 minutes against Duke but was recovering from a nagging ankle injury.

Up next for FSU is a matchup against rival Miami on Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables.

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