Florida State’s deficiencies — 3-point shooting, rhythm in the half-court offense and rebounding — were again apparent in a loss to South Carolina on Sunday.
Malik Osborne scored 15 points on 4 of 8 shooting, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, but he missed a wide-open 3 from the top of the key at the buzzer and the Seminoles fell to South Carolina 66-65 at Rock Hill, S.C. FSU had led by 16 midway through the first half but let the game slip away in the second half.
“The four games we’ve lost it’s kind of similar,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We’ve been ahead at halftime of all four games that we’ve lost, which shows that we’re doing some things right. But because we’ve faded in four of the games that we’ve lost that means that we have a lot of work to do.”
Osborne had a block and rebound, his ninth of the game, with 12 seconds to go. Rayquan Evans dribbled to halfcourt to call the timeout in front of FSU’s bench.
Coach Leonard Hamilton and the staff drew up an inbounds play, with Evans driving and drawing attention before kicking it out to Osborne. While the shot missed, and Osborne pounded the court in frustration, it was a game in which FSU shot just 6 of 21 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc and forced a last-possession play in a game where the Seminoles were in control early.
FSU (5-4) also was outrebounded 41-33 and allowed South Carolina grab 14 offensive rebounds that resulted in 16 second-half points. And the Seminoles shot just 19 of 51 (37.3 percent) from the floor. Compounding the problems were turnovers as FSU tied a season high with 17 and had just eight assists.
Caleb Mills scored 13 points on 4 of 13 shooting, while John Butler Jr. and Jalen Warley each had eight points.
Anthony Polite had nine points, four rebounds and four assists. He made 6 of 6 shots from the free-throw line, where FSU shot 21 of 28.
Chico Carter had 16 points and seven rebounds for South Carolina (7-2), which was rated No. 101 in KenPom. The Gamecocks shot 26 of 59 (44.1 percent) from the floor.
FSU has not beaten a top-100 KenPom team this year. The Seminoles were rated 40th coming into Sunday’s game.
“We have not had this much inexperience all at one time,” Hamilton said. “But I like this team. I think that we’ve shown signs that we’re capable. We just got to start turning some of these close losses into victories so that we can have some, hopefully, opportunities at the end of the season.”
The FSU-South Carolina box score can be viewed here.
FSU will play host to Lipscomb on Wednesday at 9 p.m. (ACC Network).