Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Colson, Irish Take Care Of Florida State

February 11, 2017

It was a regular-season matchup between Notre Dame and Florida State, but Saturday night at the Purcell Pavilion might as well have been Bonzie Colson Night. 

The junior forward crossed the 1,000-point milestone for his career and had a career-high with 33 points to go with 13 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season to lead the Irish to an 84-72 win over the 14th-ranked Seminoles.

The Irish improved to 19-7 and 8-5 in the ACC while Florida State dropped to 21-5 overall and 9-4 in league play.

The Irish led by nine at halftime. Florida State scored the first bucket of the second half, but were never able to get within seven again for the rest of the contest. Notre Dame pushed the lead to 20 at one point.

The Irish came out in the second half shooting well and they opened up a 12-point lead after a three by Rex Pflueger. The Irish started to break the game open after a three-point play by Colson that gave them a 15-point lead. Colson followed a Vasturia three with a nice tip-in that gave him 1,000 career points with the Irish.

At the first TV timeout of the half, the Irish led 53-36. After a cold start to the second half, the Seminoles started to find their footing but, unfortunately for them the Irish shots started to fall at a dizzying rate. A V.J. Beachem three gave the Irish a 16-point advantage after the Seminoles made a little run to try to get back within striking distance.

In the next few minutes, that's exactly what the Seminoles did with a couple of nice drives to the basket by CJ Walker and Forrest that cut the lead to 60-48, but missed free throws continued to hurt the Seminoles as they failed to get within 10. The Irish took advantage and took the game back with layups by Farrell and Colson.

The Irish led 67-53 with 7:55 to go in the game. The Seminoles had no answer for Big Number 35 as Colson, who is a top 20 finalist for the Wooden Award, continued to score. An 8-3 run by the Irish essentially put a bow on the game as they continued their dominant second half. At the final TV timeout of the game with 3:55 left, the Irish led 78-60.

Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia added 15 apiece for Notre Dame while Terance Mann led Florida State with 15, Dwayne Bacon and Trent Forrest added 12 and Xavier Rathan-Mayes chipped in with 11.

Colson opened the game by picking up where he left off after a 27-point, 16-rebound performance against NC State on Tuesday with a jumper to get the Irish on the board less than 90 seconds in. The Irish led 7-6 after the first TV timeout with the sell-out crowd making a lot of noise.

Despite the Seminoles shooting 60 percent early, the Irish did a good job forcing turnovers. Farrell knocked down back-to-back jumpers to give the Irish a 15-10 lead.

At the midway point of the half, the Irish led 17-12 as the Seminoles started to cool off from the field. Both teams struggled to find offense with many missed layups and open shots. Colson started to catch fire with five consecutive points as the Irish began feeding him the ball. The Irish led 22-16 at the under-eight TV timeout. A Vasturia three-point play gave the Irish a 10-point lead, 27-17, their largest of the game. Colson continued to dominate inside as he converted a wide-open layup off a great feed from Farrell to give him 11 points in the half. Forrest gave the Seminoles a nice spark with a couple of layups as they cut the lead to five. Florida State used a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to three before Farrell stopped the bleeding with a huge three-pointer, giving him 11 for the half. The Seminoles’ free-throw shooting prevented them from getting closer as they were two-for-eight in the half.

The Irish closed the half on a 11-5 run to take a 40-31 lead into the break. Notre Dame shot 47.1 percent in the half, led by Colson's 13 points. The Seminoles meanwhile, shot 48.3 percent and were led by Rathan-Mayes, who had 10 in the first 20 minutes.

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