TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It turns out that the No. 8 team in the country is pretty good.
The eighth-ranked Florida State Seminoles flexed their muscles on Tuesday, dramatically pulling away from Pitt after a close second half to win, 82-67 and avenge the Panthers’ season-opening victory over the Seminoles.
Pitt was within five at the break, but everything went Florida State’s way in the second half. The Seminoles dominated Pitt on the glass, 40-27 and had 23 second-chance points from offensive rebounds.
Additionally, every loose ball, tip and hoped pass seemed to land Florida State’s way in the friendly confines of the Donald L. Tucker Center.
After getting to the free-throw line 31 times in the season opener, Pitt wasn’t able to replicate the ability to drive and get Florida State’s bigs in trouble. As many teams have recently, the Seminoles played more zone than they did the first time against Pitt.
Terrell Brown and Au’Diese Toney were the lone bright spots for Pitt offensively. Toney had 15 on 5 of 10 shooting and Brown added 11 on 5 of 6. Toney led Pitt with seven rebounds.
Xavier Johnson had 12 points and seven assists, but was 0 of 5 from 3-point range and 3 of 14 from the floor. As a team, Pitt was 3 of 20 (15%) from long range.
Defensively, Pitt was out-matched in the paint, where Florida State had 44 points to Pitt’s 28. 6-foot-8 freshman Patrick Williams had 16 points.
Pitt will return home to face Virginia at Petersen Events Center on Saturday. That game has a noon tipoff.