Sunrise, Fla.- Florida State’s size and USF’s inconsistent shooting doomed the Bulls in their 75-62 loss to the Seminoles on Saturday in the Orange Bowl Classic.
USF (5-6) has now lost five games in a row after starting the season 5-1.
Corey Allen Jr. was a bright spot for USF. The senior dropped a career high 31 points on 12-for-21 shooting, but it was a struggle for the rest of the Bulls offensively. As a team USF shot just 36-percent from the field compared to the Seminoles’ (6-5) 49 percent.
"He battled, you see his frame, and for a kid his size, as big as his heart is, he competed," head coach Orlando Antigua said. "We were ecstatic how he played for us."
Devon Bookert, who scored a team-high 22 points, paced the Seminoles. Bookert added four rebounds and three assists and took home the game’s MVP award as voted on by the press in attendance.
The Bulls struggled against the height and length of the Seminoles’ post players throughout the matchup. Florida State blocked 15 shots in the game and scored 32 points in the paint.
"They're a really big, athletic team and we knew that coming in," Antigua said. " Early on it intimidated some of our guys."
USF pulled within two, 44-42 with a little over 13 minutes left but never got any closer. FSU answered a mini run by the Bulls with a 10-1 run over the next three-plus minutes.
Anthony Collins contributed 13 points, knocking down 5-of-12 field goals, including his first three-pointer of the season. Outside of Allen and Collins, the Bulls struggled to find contributions from other players. Chris Perry, who came into the game as one of the team’s top scorers, went 1-for-13 from the field and scored only three points.
"He (Perry) got some shots close to the basket at times and their size might've affected it," Antigua said. "He started pump faking and we wanted him to play through the contact. It's something he can get better at and he will."
Bench scoring was a big factor, as FSU outscored USF 31-6 via the reserves.
"That is pretty much who we are," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We are not a team to win games by committing to a single scorer."
The Bulls were better from beyond the arc against FSU than in their previous four games. Entering the game USF was two for its last 31 from long distance. After starting 0-for-2 from three-point range, the Bulls finished 2-for-4.This was the first time playing in the Orange Bowl Classic for the Bulls and Antigua was very gracious about the opportunity.
"We are very thankful for the Orange Bowl Committee for allowing us to be a part of this classic," he said. "Anytime we can get back down here to complete we'd love to do that.