NICEVILLE — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton’s penchant for using lots of players paid off with a huge trophy after defeating Purdue on Saturday night in the Emerald Coast Classic championship game.
Trent Forrest scored 17 points to lead the Seminoles to the 63-60 overtime victory, but Hamilton was quick to point out that nine other players also scored.
“We won by committee,” Hamilton said after receiving the trophy that, appropriately enough, includes an outline of the state of Florida. “Everybody who played I thought made contributions.”
The Seminoles (7-1) outscored the Boilermakers 5-2 in the extra period by getting their points at the free-throw line including the final two with only one second left to play.
Purdue (4-3), trailing by only a point, took several potentially winning shots in the last minute but was unable to score against a stifling Florida State defense.
“They make it so difficult on offense,” said Purdue coach Matt Painter. “Our defense is definitely ahead of our offense in terms of what we can and what we can’t do against quality opponents. We outrebounded them by 15. They are pretty long and athletic. I think that’s something we can hang our hat on as a positive.”
It was a back-and-forth game with 10 lead changes and 11 ties. Florida State never led by more than four points while the Boilermakers briefly went ahead by seven early in the second half after trailing 27-24 at the intermission.
Purdue won the rebounding battle 48-33 but had 24 turnovers to only 13 for Florida State.
It was Florida State’s eighth straight overtime victory starting with a 101-90 double-overtime win against Syracuse in January 2018.