In their first-ever meeting, the ranked Florida State Seminoles and the Harvard Crimson both find themselves undefeated as they enter play in the semifinals of the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas this afternoon.
The Seminoles had played their first four games of 2011-12 all at home in the Tucker Center in Tallahassee, so hitting the floor inside the Imperial Arena on Thanksgiving was something new altogether for the team in several respects. But FSU did not disappoint as it posted a 73-53 win over the UMass Minutemen in order to remain unbeaten.
As for the Crimson, it also remained perfect on the young season yesterday by mopping the floor with the Runnin' Utes of Utah in a 75-47 final. The 47 points allowed by Harvard were the fewest to date this season.
While these two teams are meeting for the very first time, FSU has clashed with Ivy League members previously, but has lost both encounters against Princeton, a team it is scheduled to play at home near the end of December. Taking on two teams from the Ancient Eight in the same season will be a first for the Seminoles.
The winner of today's contest will go up against the survivor of the UConn/UCF matchup in the title game on Saturday.
Florida State shot a dismal 35.1 percent from the floor yesterday, converting a mere nine field goals in the second half alone as they finished with more turnovers (23) than made baskets (20). But the 'Noles saved themselves as they connected on 30-of-39 shots at the free-throw line in the win over the Minutemen. Michael Snaer recorded a double-double from his guard position with 18 points and 10 rebounds, the same goes for forward Okaro White who dropped in 11 points and pulled down 11 boards as the Seminoles topped UMass on the glass, 53-43. Luke Loucks accounted for 12 points and four steals, but also six turnovers in the meeting. Snaer is responsible for 13.0 ppg on the season, thanks in large part to his 8-of-19 effort behind the three-point line, while reserve Terrance Shannon is the other double-digit scorer with 10.4 ppg. A defensive-minded group, FSU is holding opponents to just 55.0 ppg this season on 32.1 percent shooting from the floor and 18.1 percent beyond the arc.
Corbin Miller played just 15 minutes in a reserve role for the Crimson on Thanksgiving, yet he tied for the team high with 13 points, shooting a perfect 3-of-3 behind the three-point line, as the team trampled the Runnin' Utes. Also scoring in double figures for Harvard were Keith Wright and Kyle Casey with 13 and 11 points, respectively, with both players pulling down seven rebounds. Defensively, Harvard held Utah to just 36.7 percent shooting from the field and forced the squad from Salt Lake City into 16 turnovers as well. One of only two seniors on the roster, Wright leads the team in scoring with 14.0 ppg as he shoots a staggering 66.7 percent from the field, adding 6.8 rpg as well. Casey chips in with 13.0 ppg and another 5.5 rpg and Oliver McNally 11.8 ppg, the latter having made all 15 of his free-throw tries to this point in the campaign.