TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — At one point during Saturday's contest at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, the home team, Florida State, was shooting just over 30-percent from the field and had missed more than 30-percent of their free throws. Most nights, that is a recipe for disaster for any team.
But not on February 9. And not for the Noles.
Thanks to a stifling defense that cashed-in on 32 points off turnovers, Florida State (18-5, 6-4) forced overtime and ultimately handed Louisville just its third loss in ACC play under Chris Mack. The Noles have now won five straight, ACC games for the first time since 2011-2012.
Carrying a 31-25 lead into the second half, the Cardinals saw that lead balloon thanks to back-to-back-to-back three's from Ryan McMahon. Despite ultimately losing, the Cardinals still shot nearly 50-percent from the floor for the game.
However, their shots could not fall in crunch time down the stretch -- and the Noles capitalized.
Perhaps the sequence of the game came with just a little over a minute to play. Down four points, a Mfiondue Kabengele putback dunk cut the Louisville lead to two points. MJ Walker promptly stole the inbound and scored for FSU, and, suddenly, the game was tied. Louisville could not convert on its ensuing possession, but Phil Cofer missed a would-be, game-winning shot at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
In overtime, the aforementioned free-throw struggles all but disappeared. The Noles went 11 of 12 from the line, and held Louisville to just three baskets on six attempts.
Kabengele (22 points, 7 rebounds) once again led the way for FSU, playing 36 minutes. Senior Terrence Mann played a team-high 40 minutes, adding 20 points. Walker and Trent Forrest also finished in double figures.
Christen Cunningham led the way for Louisville (17-7, 8-3) with 20 points. 13 of those points came before halftime.
Florida State hosts Wake Forrest on Wednesday before embarking on a three game road trip to Georgia Tech, Clemson and North Carolina.