NCAAB: Stanford, Florida State look for faster starts after losses
Two teams that failed to answer an early wake-up call get a chance to rebound under similar circumstances Friday afternoon when Florida State and Stanford meet in the consolation bracket of the ESPN Events Invitational men’s basketball tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Seminoles (1-5), who had to travel only 250 miles to the Disney World Resort, watched as New York-based Siena ripped off 16 of the game’s first 21 points en route to an 80-63 victory in Thursday’s tournament opener, which tipped off at 11 in the morning local time.
Immediately following, the Cardinal (2-3) — the only West Coast team in the tournament — managed just 22 first-half points against unbeaten Mississippi before rallying to make it close before ultimately coming just short 72-68. That game tipped off at 1:30 p.m. local (or 10:30 a.m. back home in California for Stanford).
If both Florida State and Stanford snuck in a late workout after Thanksgiving dinner, no doubt they focused on 3-point shooting. The Seminoles went just 4-for-15 from beyond the arc, while the Cardinal were only marginally better at 7-for-22.
Where the Seminoles and Cardinal differed in their openers was in scoring balance.
Florida State had plenty of it, with Matthew Cleveland going for 14 points, Cam’Ron Fletcher scoring 13 and Caleb Mills adding 11.
Stanford, meanwhile, rode the back of sophomore star Harrison Ingram and his career-best 24 points, 11 more than any teammate.
Neither team got much help from its bench — something Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton warned might be an issue for his team entering the event.
“With the new additions of guys we have back healthy, we need for a lot of people to play, come in and get in a rhythm,” he said. “Hopefully before too long we can be back in sync.”
The Seminoles got 16 points from five reserves against Siena, one more point than the Cardinal received from their five backups against Mississippi.
Despite the loss on the road on Thanksgiving, several Stanford players took time to remind everyone their bodies might be in Florida, but their thoughts are spread across the country.
“I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my teammates,” said James Keefe, who had seven points and two rebounds in the defeat. “I’m thankful for the game of basketball and all the opportunities I’ve been given.”
–Field Level Media