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(SNO) — Senior swingman Terance Mann’s production under both baskets saved Florida State’s men’s basketball team from being surprisingly upstaged by a Tulane freshman’s remarkable debut.
Mann, both of whose parents are from Saint Lucia, had 21 points and 10 rebounds, PJ Savoy added 14 points and No. 17 Florida State wore down a feisty and apparently improved Tulane squad, 80-69 on Sunday night.
Tulane was buoyed by the debut of freshman Kevin Zhang, who had 24 points, including 10 during a second-half surge that briefly pulled the Green Wave as close as 62-56.
“Once we took that big lead, we kind of took our foot off the gas and we should have never done that,” Mann said. “We thought it was going to be easy and it wasn’t. They made a great run, Zhang hit a lot of 3s for them, a lot of quick buckets. So next time we’ve just got to know that no game is going to be easy.”
The Seminoles, who are have their sights set on a third-straight NCAA tournament berth, and who advanced to the regional finals last spring, kept their composure in the crunch in the face of a packed and loud home-opening crowd in Tulane’s cozy Devlin Fieldhouse.
Christ Koumadje’s dunk sparked a 10-0 Seminoles run that included layups by Mann and Trent Forest, and FSU maintained a double-digit lead for most of the final seven minutes.
“We handled it pretty well for the most part,” Mann said. “Getting through that, we’ve got to learn from it.”