TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Terrence Mann scored 19 points and Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 15 Monday, leading No. 21 Florida State past Samford 76-68.
The Seminoles have won eight straight and are 12-1 for only the third time – matching the 1988-89 and 2008-09 squads.
Samford led for most of the final five minutes of the first half before FSU scored the final five points to go up 31-27. The Seminoles scored the first six points to start the second half, pushing the lead to double figures. Florida State led by 17 with 6:12 remaining after a 12-2 run.
Christen Cunningham led the Bulldogs (7-4) with 16 points while Demetrius Denzel-Dyson added 14.
Samford: The Bulldogs are 17-9 in nonconference games over the past two seasons but are 0-2 this season against teams currently ranked in the Top 25 (they lost to Cincinnati 70-55 on Nov. 23). Samford was picked to finish seventh in the Southern Conference but might exceed expectations based on how it has done so far.
Florida State: The Seminoles struggled in the first half for the second straight game before pulling away in the second half. If it weren’t for blowing an 18-point, second-half lead on Nov. 24 against Temple, Florida State would be undefeated going into the Atlantic Coast Conference part of its schedule.
Each team’s leading player struggled. Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon, who came into the game averaging 17.2 points, scored 14 but was 4 of 15 from the field.
Samford’s Wyatt Walker, who is averaging a double-double with 13.7 points and 11.6 rebounds, was held scoreless in the first half. He had eight points and four rebounds.
Samford: The Bulldogs host Florida A&M on Thursday. It is the first of two more nonconference games before they open Southern Conference play Dec. 31.
Florida State: The Seminoles begin ACC play Dec. 28 against Wake Forest. They are 9-16 in conference openers.