TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State teammates had seen Wyatt Wilkes show off his jump shot in practice for years. But he had never done it in a game until Saturday.
Wilkes scored a career-high 14 points while Trent Forrest added 13 points and five rebounds as Florida State defeated Saint Francis (Pa.) 80-65 on Saturday.
Wilkes scored just 26 points in his first two college seasons but has become a rotational player for the Seminoles (4-1) in November.
“He’s an unbelievable shooter,” guard Anthony Polite said. “Every time he shoots, everybody thinks it’s going in. It’s good to see him out there doing the same things he does in practice.”
A redshirt sophomore, Wilkes had scored just five points in four games this season before turning in an unexpected 5 of 7 performance from the floor against the Red Flash. Wilkes also knocked down 3-of-5 3-pointers.
“It was a lot of fun,” Wilkes said. “But I’m more worried about the outcome of the game. … We just win by committee. And everyone is happy about that. Every single game is a chance for everybody to show what they can do.”
FSU has done just that through five games, with four players leading the team in scoring. The Seminoles had five players score eight or more points, shot 28 of 60 (46.7%) from the floor and led by double figures most of the day.
Myles Thompson scored a career-high 23 points, knocking down 9 of 12 shots for Saint Francis (2-4). Thompson came into the game averaging eight points.
“He’s not afraid of the moment,” Saint Francis coach Rob Krimmel said. “He’s a talented kid. When those shots start falling, it’s neat to see him experience that moment. He’s the consummate team player. His attitude has been fantastic.”
Besides Thompson, though, the other Red Flash players shot just 11 of 42 (26.1%) from the floor. They lived and died by the 3-pointer, making 9 of 22 (40.9%). Saint Francis finished 20 of 54 (37%) from the floor.
Polite had eight points, seven rebounds and five steals for Florida State, which outrebounded Saint Francis 38-27.
Forrest was 7 of 7 at the free-throw line as the Seminoles continued to impress by going 15 of 17 at the charity stripe. Florida State came into the game as the only ACC team shooting better than 75 percent from the free-throw line.
Freshman center Balsa Koprivica has had back-to-back double-digit scoring games, finishing with 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting versus the Red Flash.
Saint Francis: The Red Flash made seven 3s in the first half but just couldn’t keep pace, making only 4 of 16 shots from inside the arc in the first 20 minutes. Saint Francis was just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc in the second half.
Florida State: The Seminoles cruised to a win even with a pair of starters, M.J. Walker and RaiQuan Gray, out due to injury.
Saint Francis: The Red Flash play at Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 30.
Florida State: The Seminoles play host to Chicago State on Monday.
A HOME RUN
Florida State won its 35th straight non-conference home game, a streak that dates nearly five years. The Seminoles’ last non-conference loss in Tallahassee came against UCF on Dec. 6, 2014.
Including ACC and non-conference games, Florida State has won 52 of its last 55 home games.