PITTSBURGH – Florida State is way more than MJ Walker’s leading scorer.
Raiquan Gray had 16 points and eight rebounds, and the Seminoles in 16th place defeated Pittsburgh 79-72 for the third time in a row on Saturday.
Florida State (13-3, 9-2 ACC) led more than 35 minutes, but never more than 11 points. Malik Osborne had 12 points and nine rebounds at team level. RayQuan Evans also scored 12 points and Scottie Barnes 11.
Pitt (9-9, 5-8) was able to take out Walker, who finished 0 for 5 with no points, but the Florida State depth was too great for the Panthers. Nine Florida state players scored four or more points. Walker remains seven points out of 1,000 for his career.
“It really represents who we are as a basketball team to keep winning games by committee,” said Leonard Hamilton, Florida state coach.
Pitt (9-9, 5-8) shot 38.2% off the ground as the State of Florida used its economies of scale and reserves to wear down the panthers at either end of the court.
“That’s what they do,” said Pitt coach Jeff Capel. “The state of Florida is coming your way in waves. You’re a very good basketball team. We fought for 40 minutes. “
The Panthers were able to close their lead to four points in the last minute of the game after a Xavier Johnson jumper. Evans made five free throws on the track to ensure victory.
“They were very well prepared,” said Hamilton. “You didn’t let us separate. At the end of the day, I thought we had the stops we had when the game was on. “
ACC’s top scorer and rebounder Justin Champagnie had 21 points and 10 boards for the Panthers in his 11th double-double of the season. Johnson added 15 points.
Florida State Guard Wyatt Wilkes’ start was limited due to injury, scoring six points in 13 minutes.