Published November 27, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton could only envy Minnesota's Tubby Smith on Tuesday night.
Hamilton expected his team would be fresh and ready to go after a six-day rest over the Thanksgiving holiday while the 21st-ranked Gophers were rolling into town for their fourth road game in six days.
As it turned out, the Seminoles never had a chance when Minnesota didn't look any worse for the wear.
Minnesota (7-1) had a 7-0 lead, increased it to double digits early, building a 21-point lead halfway through the second half on its way to a 77-68 victory in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
"Minnesota played with a lot more fire," Hamilton said. "They were a lot more aggressive. I thought that we would have been the team that would be extremely aggressive. We've been inconsistent with it."
Minnesota's more experienced team took advantage of their familiarity with each other while Hamilton is searching for the right chemistry.
Joe Coleman scored 16 points and Rodney Williams added 14 to lead the way in Minnesota's win over the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions.
Terrance Shannon led the Seminoles with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Michael Snaer added 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Terry Whisnant and Okaro White both had 10 points for the Seminoles.
Minnesota built its biggest lead in the half at 35-20 on Austin Hollins' 3-pointer with 2:56 left in the half. Andre Hollins' 3 made it 30-19 with 6:22 remaining and the Gophers held a double-digit lead for most of the game.
"We were just hotter tonight than they were," Smith said. "We want to attack and be aggressive in full-court offense. That's our style and that's what we want to do."
And they did it this time at Florida State's expense.
Minnesota shot 47.3 percent in the first half while Florida State finished with a chilly 37.9 percent, after hitting just 32.1 percent in the first half.
"We allowed those early misses to affect our energy and our focus," Hamilton said. "You can't wallow in self-pity too long because you've got another team right around the corner," said Hamilton, whose team faces Mercer on Sunday.
Florida State, which won its first ACC title last season, has lost five straight games in the annual ACC-Big Ten challenge dating to a 75-61 victory over the Gophers in Smith's first season at Minnesota in 2007.