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Jan 12, 2024 2:41 pm

Florida State looks to continue reversal of fortune at Notre Dame

Florida State has made strides to rebound from a rough 2022-23.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s youth remains key to bettering the team’s performance from last season.

The Seminoles can record their fourth straight victory by handing the Fighting Irish a third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference home defeat Saturday at South Bend, Ind.

Florida State (9-6, 3-1) has matched its win total from last season’s 9-23 performance, and the Seminoles have done so with nine players averaging at least 5.0 points, while three are in double figures.

Leading the way is VCU transfer Jamir Watkins (13.1 points per game), who had 19 points — 11 of 11 from the free-throw line — and nine assists during Tuesday’s 87-82 home victory over Wake Forest. The Seminoles saw 11 players see time, with eight scoring at least five points, and the team shooting 50.9 percent, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range.

“We want to develop a team that wins games by committee because that’s a different style than most people in the ACC play, and that works for me,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton, whose team has won five of six and is shooting 49.4 percent during the three-game winning streak.

Notre Dame (7-9, 2-3) is rebuilding following an 11-21 campaign with coach Micah Shrewsberry in his first season. The Irish start two freshmen, led by leading scorer Markus Burton (15.9 points), and got back-to-back strong efforts from a freshman reserve and the coach’s son Braeden Shrewsberry.

After scoring 12 on 4-of-7 shooting from distance during last weekend’s 67-59 loss to then-No. 14 Duke, Shrewsberry went 5 of 9 from behind the arc and finished with 25 as the Irish snapped a 15-game road skid with Tuesday’s 75-68 overtime victory at Georgia Tech.

Notre Dame is 4-4 in games decided by 10 or fewer points, and dropped its last two at home – to North Carolina State and the Blue Devils – by a combined 10. The Irish last won consecutive ACC contests in February 2022.

“Winning is hard, man,” Micah Shrewsberry said.

“I think playing some of those games that were close at home gave us some belief to really play the right way.”

Florida State has won three straight and six of seven versus Notre Dame.

–Field Level Media

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