Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Find Their Range; Gators Are Humbled at Florida State

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'Noles Find Their Range; Gators Are Humbled at Florida State

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State's two-month search for answers to inconsistency might not be solved with one resounding victory, but the Seminoles aren't about to give back Sunday's 82-69 win over rival Florida.

With a sustained effort, dominant inside play and an avalanche of big baskets from sophomore guard Von Wafer, the Seminoles never trailed.

"It's unfortunate that it took an in-state rival, a good basketball team like the University of Florida -- at home -- to create the mindset in our youngsters to go out and play the way that we hoped to be playing all year long," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.

Wafer showed no signs of lingering effects from Thursday's mind-numbing 67-50 loss to LSU, drilling six 3-pointers en route to a team-high 20 points.

"I just had a special feeling for the game," Wafer said. "I just wanted to give that to my teammates; I wanted to give them a piece of what I was feeling."

Wafer staked the 'Noles to an early 17-9 lead, then closed the half with a 3-pointer for a 13-point advantage that was never seriously threatened. Florida got no closer than nine points in the final 20 minutes, and FSU (8-6) led by as many as 17 on two occasions.

"Von gave us that lift in the first half that's just been missing," Hamilton said. "That's probably been the one thing that's been missing, not having someone step up and give us some consistency while we're trying to grow up."

It was the Seminoles' first victory over the Gators since an 83-81 triumph on Dec. 14, 1997, snapping a six-game losing streak in the 56th meeting between the programs.

Florida played without junior scoring leader Matt Walsh, who suffered a high right ankle sprain in Thursday's practice and will be out for 10 days to two weeks.

Sophomore Lee Humphrey made his first start of the season in Walsh's absence and delivered a career-high 15 points, second only to teammate Anthony Roberson's game-high 22.

The lack of outside scoring didn't doom the Gators (8-3). Their lack of inside production -- at both ends of the floor -- did.

Florida State's frontcourt trio of Adam Waleskowski, Al Thornton and Alexander Johnson combined for 45 points and 26 rebounds. …

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