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Hofstra deals FSU first hoops loss of the season

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Florida State suffered their first loss in men’s basketball on Friday when they dropped an 82-77 decision to the Hofstra Herd in the opening round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The shots did not fall nearly as frequently as they did during the Seminoles’ two lopsided season-opening wins over Nicholls State and Jacksonville.

Freshman Malik Beasley is quickly developing a reputation as a sharpshooter with another strong performance. He scored 25 points on 8 of 16 shooting and was 4 of 8 on three-pointers.

Unfortunately, Beasley was the only Seminole among the starters who could find the range. Fellow freshman Dwayne Bacon could muster only 9 points after putting up 50 in FSU’s two wins.

Devon Bookert did come off the bench to contribute 11 points. Center Boris Bojanovsky also chipped in 11 while Mayes-Xavier Rathan was FSU’s other double-figure scorer with 10. The Seminoles shot only 40 percent from the field and were out rebounded 39-36

Hofstra was led by guard Brian Bernardi with 24 points, helped by 6 of 8 shooting behind the 3-point arc. The Herd finished 10 of 22 on three pointers and shot 47 percent overall. Three other starters finished in double figures.

After jumping to a 6-point lead in the opening minutes of the game, the Seminoles finally fell behind, 22-20 with 7:02 remaining in the first half. Bernardi’s 3-pointer with 6:23 left pushed the lead to 5. Hofstra led, 41-35 at the half.

Florida State would never catch up.

The Herd pushed the lead to 8 points on several occasions in the second half. FSU managed to cut it to 53-52 on a Bookert layup with 11:49 remaining, but Hofstra again pulled away.

The Seminoles had one final opportunity when Beasley’s 3-pointer cut it to 77-75 with 1:17 left. They could manage only two free throws by Bookert the rest of the way while the Herd put the game away by making 5 free throws in the closing moments.

Florida State will play DePaul at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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