By JOE REEDY
The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — If there was one area where Florida State has struggled early in the season, it was 3-point shooting. It certainly didn’t have any problems with its perimeter game on Tuesday.
The Seminoles sank 14 3-pointers in a 98-49 victory over Southern Mississippi. They came into the game 12th in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 3-point percentage at 32.9 percent but converted 48.3 percent from beyond the arc on Tuesday.
“We have a ton of guys that can get to the rim and create their own shot. The one thing that we’ve struggled with early is perimeter shooting,” said Brandon Allen, who had a career-high 10 points and was 2 of 3 from the perimeter. “We can beat teams in a lot of different ways.”
PJ Savoy, who missed the first six games due to a turf toe injury, led the way with 27 points and was 7 of 10 from 3-point range.
Coach Leonard Hamilton cited most of the Seminoles’ early perimeter struggles due to Savoy’s absence. But the 6-foot-4 sophomore Sheridan College transfer showed that he can generate his points in limited action. He played just 14 minutes as FSU (8-1) had a decisive 57-19 edge in bench points.
“He made the most of it. We need that. He’s a shooter. That’s what we brought him here for,” said Dwayne Bacon, who had 13 points.
Eddie Davis III led the Golden Eagles (3-4) with 17 points, and Cortez Edwards added 11. Southern Miss shot a season low 30.2 percent (19 of 63) from the field.
“We weren’t ready for it. Their pressure just ate us alive,” Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler said. “We never got started and, they got to the top of the hill fast.”
Southern Mississippi: The Golden Eagles have six road games this month and have had a rough start. Before this loss, they lost by 9 at Jackson State on Sunday. The next road game won’t be any easier as Southern Miss will face in-state rival Mississippi State in Jackson on Dec. 19.
Florida State: The Seminoles continue to improve on defense. During this four-game winning streak they have held opponents to an average of 56.3 points while holding them to a combined 29.3 percent shooting from the field.
Jarquez Smith became the 16th player in school history with 100 career blocks 51 seconds into the game. Smith blocked a 3-point attempt by Michael Ramsey, saved the ball from going out of bounds and then sank a 3-pointer on the ensuing trip down the floor for Florida State’s first points.
The 6-foot-9 senior forward, who made his first start in two years, had 14 points, two blocks and two steals.
Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac missed his second straight game due to a hip flexor injury that he suffered in practice. The 6-foot-10 forward is second on the team in scoring and fourth among Atlantic Coast Conference freshmen averaging 15.1 points per game. Phil Cofer was also held out as a precaution due to a foot injury.
HE SAID IT
“Their 11th guy is better than anyone that we’ve got,” Sadler on Florida State.
Florida State: The Seminoles face Nicholls State on Thursday in the second of three straight home games.