Florida St. hands 'U' first loss
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's Ralph Mims was in tune all night. The senior guard from Pensacola sang the National An-them before the game and then went out and narrowly missed a double double as he sparked the Seminoles to a 75-61 victory ...
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State's Ralph Mims was in tune all night.
The senior guard from Pensacola sang the National An-them before the game and then went out and narrowly missed a double double as he sparked the Seminoles to a 75-61 victory over cold-shooting Minnesota in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Mims scored 13 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds after wrapping up his singing duties.
"He's always telling me he can sing," coach Leonard Hamilton said afterward. "He did a heckuva job. Who knew, one of these days maybe we'll all be coming here to hear a Ralph Mims concert."
Mims admitted to being nervous before singing the anthem.
"Oh yeah, I had the bubble guts, man," he said. "I'd never sang before a crowd like this or on television either."
Isaiah Swann's 15 points led Florida State, which also got 13 points from Toney Douglas and 11 from Uche Echefu.
Florida State (6-2) led 38-32 at the half and expanded its lead to the finish while handing the Gophers (3-1) their first loss under new coach Tubby Smith, who left Kentucky this year to try and resurrect Minnesota's basketball fortunes.
"Florida State's pretty physical, pretty athletic and did a good job of really contesting shots," Smith said. "If we get the ball inside we get to the free throw line. I thought that was the biggest difference."
And it was: The Seminoles hit 27 of 32 free throws while Minnesota was just 6-of-10.
The Gophers shot 33.8 percent in the game and only 26.9 percent from 3-point distance.
"When you shoot as poorly as we did in a game like this it's going to be a struggle," Smith said.
Freshman Blake Hoffarber led Minnesota with 12 points, Lawrence McKenzie added 11 and Lawrence Westbrook 10. The Gophers did have an early four-point lead, 22-18, but couldn't keep it on the road against an experienced Florida State team.
Spencer Tollackson, who came into the game leading Minnesota with a 13.7 scoring average, had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting and the team's second leading scorer, Dan Coleman, had just seven points on a 3-for-12 effort.
"At least they didn't get into the offensive rhythm that they were used to," Hamilton said.
Only Mims was in rhythm.