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Feb 2, 2024 9:08 pm

Florida State aims to avoid trap game at Louisville

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton isn’t taking anything for granted when his Seminoles take on Atlantic Coast Conference cellar dweller Louisville on Saturday in Louisville just a week after losing a close battle against No. 3 North Carolina.

“Regardless of who you’re playing,” he said after the 75-68 loss to the Tar Heels, “whether you are home or on the road, you’re going to have to be at your best to win.”

The Seminoles (12-8, 6-3 ACC) hold the No. 4 spot in the conference standings, which, if they hold it at the end of the season, would earn them a bye into the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament in March.

The Cardinals (6-15, 1-9 ACC) are mired in last place and have lost their past six games since upsetting Miami for their only league win.

Louisville did show some life in the second half of its 70-64 loss at Clemson in its last outing, outscoring the Tigers 42-36 in the second half and shaving a 24-point deficit down to four points in the closing seconds.

Cardinals coach Kenny Payne expressed pride in his players in the way they came back.

“I like my guys,” he said. “I like my team. I just want to see them play like that second half every time they step on the floor. I thought Tre White showed why we wanted him here.”

A transfer from USC, White posted career highs with 29 points and 14 rebounds for his second career double-double.

Florida State had four players score in double figures, topped by Primo Spears’ 15 points, and trimmed its deficit to two points with 2:37 left in its loss to the Tar Heels, who scored the game’s five points over the last 44 seconds.

“That means we’re getting better,” Hamilton said. “Early in the year we had a lot of comings and goings.”

The Seminoles lost their first meeting of the season with the Tar Heels 78-70 in December.

This will be Florida State’s only meeting with Louisville.

–Field Level Media

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