NEW YORK – If St. Joseph’s is to win the championship of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the Hawks are going to have to defend the three and counter the quickness of what is a deep Florida State team.
After Friday’s 79-70 overtime victory over Notre Dame at the Barclays Center that extended into Saturday, St. Joseph’s now has to turn its attention to the defending ACC Tournament champion Florida State.
The Seminoles earned their trip to tonight’s 9:30 p.m. final against St. Joseph’s with Friday’s 88-70 win over Brigham Young.
FSU shot 11 for 20 (58 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile the defense, a staple of a Leonard Hamilton-coached team, held BYU to 6 for 25 shooting from beyond the arc (24 percent).
The Hawks had trouble defending the three against Notre Dame, although the success got better as the game went on.
Notre Dame shot 7 for 13 from beyond the arc in the first half, but just 3 for 15 in the second half and overtime.
One has to wonder how much gas St. Joseph’s will have. All five starters played 41 or more minutes against Notre Dame and only seven played overall.
FSU meanwhile, had nine players with 10 or more minutes and only one with more than 30. So the Seminoles will send players in waves.
St. Joseph’s received great balance with all five starters scoring in double figures against Notre Dame, led by 6-8 junior Ronald Roberts Jr., who had 21 points and 16 rebounds.
The Hawks showed great resiliency. Down 66-58 with just over four minutes go, St. Josephs’ scored the final eight points in regulation and then outscored the Fighting Irish 13-4 in overtime.
Here is a look at the two teams.
Florida State (2-1) vs. St. Joseph’s (2-0)
When: Tonight, 9:30 p.m., Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Radio/TV: 610 WIP-AM/truTV.
Coaches: St. Joseph, Phil Martelli (18th season, 322-223); FSU, Leonard Hamilton (10th season, 181-128 at FSU; 381-333 overall).
F - Okaro White 6-8, Jr., 13.0 ppg., 4.7 rpg.
C - Kiel Turpin 7-0 Jr., 4.3 ppg., 2.0 rpg.
G - Brandon Montay 6-7 Fr., 6.7 ppg.
G - Michael Snaer 6-5 Sr., 15.0 ppg., 6.7 rpg.
G - Ian Miller 6-3, Jr., 9.7 ppg.
F – Ronald Roberts, 6-8 Jr., 15.5 ppg., 14.0 rpg.
F – Halil Kanacevic, 6-8, Jr., 13.0 ppg., 9.5 rpg., 4.0 apg.
C – C.J. Aiken, 6-9 Jr., 9.5 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 3.0 bpg.
G – Langston Galloway, 6-2 Jr., 16.5 ppg., 4.0 rpg.
G – Chris Wilson, 6-3, So., 11.0 ppg., 3.0 apg.
About Florida State
The Seminoles, have lost to South Alabama, 76-71, and beaten Buffalo, 95-68 and BYU, 88-70…Snaer, the MVP of the ACC Tournament last season, is the lone returning starter…White scored a team-high 17 vs. BYU while Snaer added 16 points and 10 rebounds…Snaer, Miller and 6-3 freshman Devon Bookert were a combined 9 for 14 from beyond the arc vs. BYU…FSU beat defending Atlantic-10 tournament champ St. Bonaventure in its opening NCAA tournament game last season before losing to Cincinnati.
About St. Joseph’s
St. Joseph’s point guard Carl Jones, who averaged 17 points last season, will be eligible to play after sitting out the first three games (including one exhibition) due to a violation of the University's community standards….Martelli said after the Notre Dame game that Wilson will still start at the point…Wilson had a career-high 19 points, along with three assists and just one turnover in 41 minutes against Notre Dame…Roberts, a 55.3 percent free throw shooter last year, hit 11 of 16 (68.7 percent) against Notre Dame…In the win over the Fighting Irish, the Hawks blocked nine shots, three each by Aiken and Kanacevic…St. Joseph’s opened its season with a 61-35 win over visiting Yale.