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Big second half sparks SMU past slumping Florida State


Chuck Harris matched his season high with 24 points and SMU woke up in the second half to roll to a 68-57 victory over Florida State on Saturday night in Tallahassee, Fla.

Harris, a transfer from Butler, scored 15 of his points after halftime as the Mustangs (7-4), after a cold-shooting opening half, shot a blistering 59.3 percent in the second half to control the pace.

Zhuric Phelps and Tyreek Smith each added 10 points for the Mustangs.

Darin Green Jr. and Primo Spears with 10 points each led the Seminoles (4-5), who lost a fifth consecutive outing. They shot a season-low 31.1 percent from the field (19-of-61) and were held to a season-low point total.

Spears, who started his career at Duquesne and then transferred to Georgtown before coming to Florida State, was making his season debut after a court-issued restraining order temporarily suspended the NCAA’s rule requiring players making a second transfer to sit out a season.

The Mustangs boosted a seven-point halftime lead into double digits in less than four minutes and to 17 points at 43-26 less than eight minutes into the half.

The Seminoles got to within 11 points at 53-43 and missed a chance to get their deficit into single digits when De’Ante Green couldn’t convert a fast-break layup with 5:27 remaining.

Less than two minutes later, SMU’s lead was back up to 58-44. The Mustangs’ biggest lead was 17 points at 67-50 with 1:37 remaining. It was down to 10 points a minute later, but that was too little, too late.

Both teams struggled from the field in the early going.

After hitting their first five shots, the Mustangs missed their next 10 over a stretch of nine minutes. But the Seminoles had woes of their own, going 4-of-18 shooting over the same stretch. When Chuck Harris ended the drought, SMU held a 14-13 lead.

SMU finished the opening 20 minutes 10 of 29 from the field (34.5 percent) to Florida State’s 7 of 32 (21.9) and led 25-18.

The 18 points were the first time the Seminoles failed to score at least 20 in the first half.

–Field Level Media

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