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Florida State hands Gophers first loss of season

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--Minnesota lost for the first time this season and Florida State remained unbeaten at home with a 75-67 victory on Monday night in the opener of the 18th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Tallahassee, Fla.

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Florida State Seminoles guard Dwayne Bacon (4) shoots the ball past Minnesota Gophers guard Nate Mason (2) during the second period of the game at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla., on Monday night. Photo by Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Minnesota lost for the first time this season and Florida State remained unbeaten at home with a 75-67 victory on Monday night in the opener of the 18th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Tallahassee, Fla.

Guard Dwayne Bacon, as he has done in every game but one this year, led Florida State in scoring with 18 points.

The Seminoles are 5-0 at the Donald L. Tucker Center and 6-1 overall.

Florida State, which was ranked No. 25 in the AP Top 25 last week, dropped out of the new poll released Monday but made a strong case to get right back in by knocking off Minnesota (6-1).

The Golden Gophers were led by guards Akeem Springs and Nate Mason with 11 points each, but they were the only Minnesota players to reach double figures.

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Playing their first road game of the season, the Golden Gophers grabbed a 33-31 lead at intermission after trailing for much of the first half.

Both teams struggled with their shooting. Florida State was 1 of 9 from 3-point range and Minnesota made just seven total field goals in the first half.

But Florida State came out on fire in the second half and ran away from Minnesota. The Seminoles went on a 21-6 run in the first seven minutes and quickly grabbed a 52-39 lead, highlighted by a thunderous breakaway dunk by Bacon. The Florida State lead grew to 19 points in the second half.

Florida State also got another stellar game from freshman forward Jonathan Isaac, who kicked in a double-double with 14 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Isaac, who also added two blocks and two steals, has scored in double figures in every game to start his Florida State career.

Senior center Michael Ojo added 10 points for the Seminoles, who wore special turquoise uniforms Monday against Minnesota to raise awareness for bringing sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth. It marks the seventh time-but the first time this season-that Florida State has worn the uniforms.

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