Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT; Hamilton Sounds Alarm after 'Noles Upset at Home

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT; Hamilton Sounds Alarm after 'Noles Upset at Home

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

TALLAHASSEE -- First-year Florida International basketball coach Sergio Rouco made a point to thank Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton for the opportunity to play his basketball team Sunday.

Rouco might want to follow up with personal thank-you notes to Hamilton's players for allowing the Golden Panthers to make off with a 65-60 upset victory.

"If they [FSU] bring their 'A' game, we shouldn't be on the same court," Rouco said.

The Seminoles (4-4) didn't and paid the price, losing to FIU for the first time in eight attempts. It was also the Golden Panthers' first victory against an Atlantic Coast Conference program.

"It's obvious that we're not nearly as tough mentally and emotionally as we have been," Hamilton said. ". . . You should never lose to a team that wants it more than you. That is, I guess you might call, the cardinal sin for any coach to have to admit.

"We're past the wake-up call. The alarm clock is still ringing, and we're not waking up."

FIU junior forward Ismael N'Diaye scored a career-high 22 points despite playing with a stress fracture in his right foot. N'Diaye made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory after Jayce Lewis' 3-pointer with 1:51 to play gave the Golden Panthers a 59-57 lead.

"It takes a lot of guts," Rouco said of Lewis' third 3-pointer of the season. "Playing for me, he probably thought it was his last shot if he didn't make it."

Florida State napped through the first half at the offensive end, missing 20-of-27 shots but trailed only 24-22. The Seminoles' sleep-inducing play continued after intermission as the Golden Panthers (5-3) opened with a 16-3 run and built a 40-25 lead.

That seemed to bring the 'Noles to life. Responding at both ends of the floor, FSU rallied behind freshman point guard Isaiah Swann, sophomore center Alexander Johnson and senior forward Anthony Richardson.

The trio combined for 19 points in a 27-11 scoring surge, limiting to the Panthers to just one field goal over a six-minute stretch. …

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