#4 Florida State Outlast #13 Vermont 76-69
It was more than just another matchup against America East conference champion Vermont for former UAlbany guard David Nichols...It was on the grandest stage, the NCAA tournament.
“It’s no secret, I played them seven times at UAlbany” said Nichols. “I’m very familiar with them, they’re familiar with me. They definitely had the upper hand in my last school, so it felt good to beat them with the help of my teammates.”
Nichols first entered the game at the 14:31 mark of the first half, but started slow by committing a foul in his opening minute. Less than 2 minutes after that, he knocked down a three from the wing to cut the Vermont lead to 16-10. Nichols quickly picked up his second foul, which limited his playing time to only four minutes in the first half.
The defense picked up for Florida state in the second half, forcing 7 turnovers; but Vermont wouldn’t go away. The Catamounts shot 50 percent (16-32) from 3pt range and 43 percent (23-53) from the field for the game. But the pressure and size were too much for the Catamounts. Florida state created 17 points off turnovers and 30 in the paint.
“I think we pressured the ball for 40 minutes, that’s what we do” said Nichols. “We just keep coming at guys with our length and athleticism. We go deep into our bench and try to keep guys fresh, so I think that wore them down”. Nichols finished with 7 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes played.
“ I feel like their size, length and athleticism really wears you out over time” said Colonie grad Isaiah Moll. Moll has had quite a freshman season. He capped it off by playing 19 minutes and knock down a 3 in the second half to cut the Florida state lead to 3.
“It was a great feeling” Moll said entering the game for the first time. “You look around and see all the Vermont fans that made the trip, it made it feel like a home game”.
Florida state will move on to the round of 32 to face Murray State.