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Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018
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Florida State routs Missouri, advances in NCAA Tournament

NASHVILLE — Florida State might not have a flashy scorer, but the Seminoles do have plenty who can score.

Ninth-seeded FSU beat No. 8 Missouri 67-54 Friday night in the West Region. A total of 10 different Seminoles scored at least two points — by halftime— as they wore out a Missouri team with only eight players available for this game.

Forward Michael Porter, the highly touted freshman considered by many to be an NBA lottery pick, came off the bench for his third game, and likely last, for Missouri. He finished with 16 points, scoring 13 in the second half as the Tigers tried to rally. But they got within 50-44 only to see the Seminoles reel off 15 straight points.

FSU plays No. 1 seed Xavier on Sunday.

PJ Savoy had 12 points and Phil Cofer scored 11 to pace FSU.

This was the first trip to the tournament for every player on the roster for Missouri (20-13). Even with new players and a new coach in Cuonzo Martin, the Tigers head home from their first NCAA trip since 2013 with the program's fourth straight loss in a first round.

Kassius Robertson had 19 points for Missouri.

The Tigers started well enough as Robertson opened the game with a 3-pointer, and Missouri scored seven of the first eight points.

That's when FSU woke up.

Cofer scored on a tip-in, starting an 11-0 run capped by Savoy's 3-pointer. That would up as part of a 20-4 spurt capped by a 3-pointer by Braian Angola midway through the half. Florida State went into intermission up 42-20, and all 10 Seminoles who played scored.

This was just the third game this season for Porter, who suffered a back injury in Missouri's season opener. Even with another week of practice since the SEC tournament, he looked rusty. Porter had the ball stolen from him with 7:55 left in the first half and followed that up just over a minute later with an airball jumper.

The Tigers pulled within 52-44 on a pair of free throws by Porter as Missouri opened the second half by outscoring Florida State 24-8.
Cofer hit two of three free throws to start a 15-0 spurt that pushed the lead back to double digits. By the time Missouri scored again, Jontay Porter's jumper with 5:08 left only pulled the Tigers within 65-46.

BIG PICTURE
Florida State: The Seminoles came in having lost three of four. But they came in as the ACC's third-highest scoring team, averaging 81.8 points a game, and they showed off their offense by smothering Missouri in points.
Missouri: The Tigers will never know how much having their second-leading scorer might have helped. Guard Jordan Barnett was suspended from Missouri's first-round game after being arrested for driving while intoxicated last week . The senior guard was averaging 13.7 points per game.

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