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Stanford, Florida State is looking for faster starts after losses

11/24/2022;  Orlando, FL, USA;  Stanford Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase celebrates a point against the Mississippi Rebels during the second half at State Farm Field House.  Mandatory Credit: Rich Story-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rich Story-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams who didn’t answer an early wake-up call have a chance to recover under similar circumstances Friday afternoon when Florida State and Stanford meet in the consolation round of the ESPN Events Invitational men’s basketball tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Seminoles (1-5), who only had to travel 250 miles to Disney World Resort, watched New York-based Siena score 16 of the game’s first 21 points en route to an 80-63 win in Thursday’s tournament opener demolition. which tipped at 11 a.m. local time.

Immediately afterwards, the Cardinal (2-3) – the only West Coast team in the tournament – scored just 22 first-half points against the undefeated Mississippi before rallying to make it close before eventually finishing narrowly 72-68. This game ended at 1:30 p.m. on site (or 10:30 a.m. home in California for Stanford).

When both Florida State and Stanford snuck into late practice after Thanksgiving dinner, they undoubtedly focused on 3-point shooting. The Seminoles went just 4-to-15 from beyond the arc while the Cardinal was only marginally better at 7-to-22.

Where the Seminoles and Cardinal differed in their opening games was in point balance.

Florida State had plenty of it, with Matthew Cleveland scoring 14 points, Cam’Ron Fletcher scoring 13 and Caleb Mills adding 11.

Stanford, meanwhile, rode on the back of second star Harrison Ingram and his career-best 24 points, 11 more than any teammate.

Neither team got much help from their bench – something Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton warned could be a problem for his team attending the event.

“With the additions of guys that we’ve got back to health, we need a lot of guys playing, coming in and getting into a rhythm,” he said. “Hopefully we can be in sync again soon.”

The Seminoles picked up 16 points from five reserves against Siena, a point more than the Cardinal got from his five backups against Mississippi.

Despite losing on the road on Thanksgiving, several Stanford players took the time to remind everyone their bodies might be in Florida, but their thoughts are spreading across the country.

“I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my teammates,” said James Keefe, who had seven points and two rebounds in the loss. “I am grateful for the game of basketball and all the opportunities that have been given to me.”

–Field level media

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