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No. 8 Florida State survives Syracuse without Devin Vassell

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 15 Syracuse at Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Florida State guard Rayquan Evans (0) shoots the ball over Syracuse forward Elijah Hughes (33) during the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Florida State Seminoles on February 15, 2020, at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, FL.. (Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Patrick Williams scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds as No. 8 Florida State played without star guard Devin Vassell and held off Syracuse 80-77 on Saturday.

M.J. Walker scored 16 points, including five 3-pointers, as the Seminoles (21-4, 11-3 ACC) won their 20th straight home game.

Elijah Hughes added 25 points and four rebounds, playing all 40 minutes as he returned from a groin injury that limited him to 3 minutes in Tuesday’s game against NC State. Hughes missed a 25-footer that went off the rim and would have tied the game in the final seconds.

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Joseph Girard scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Syracuse (14-11, 7-7), which has lost four of its last five games.

Trent Forrest scored 13 points, making two free-throw attempts with 8.5 seconds to go for FSU. RaiQuan Gray also had 10 rebounds as the Seminoles has a 47-29 edge on the boards.

Led by Williams’ 17 points, Florida State’s bench outscored Syracuse’s reserves 41-13.


Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, who averages 16.3 points per game, was held without a point on 0 of 7 shooting (and 0 of 5 from beyond the 3-point arc). The Orange shot just 7 of 25 (28 percent) from 3-point range.

Florida State won despite playing without Vassell, its leading scorer at 13.4 points. He was benched for undisclosed reasons by coach Leonard Hamilton. Vassell was on the bench throughout the game.


Syracuse: will play at No. 5 Louisville on Wednesday.

Florida State: will host Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The Panthers defeated the visiting Seminoles in the season opener on Nov. 6.