The Seminoles led 29-28 at halftime and were up by five in the first half. But a Florida State team that came into the NCAA tournament sixth in Division I holding opponents to 38.1 percent shooting couldn't stop Cincinnati in the second half. The Bearcats hit 11 of 21 (52.4 percent) overall and 12 of 13 at the free throw line. Cincinnati had a big edge at the line (19 of 23) overall compared to Florida State (12 of 15).
Florida State had trouble holding onto the ball, too, with 13 of its 17 turnovers coming on steals by Cincinnati. The Bearcats turned those into 19 points.
Snaer said it was shocking how much the Seminoles struggled to hang onto the ball because the coaches warned them about how Cincinnati likes to pressure and go for steals. They just weren't ready for what they encountered on the court.
"Some guys didn't know how to handle it, and they got away with some strips," Snaer said. "We just weren't concentrating and protecting the ball the way we should have."
Cincinnati said before the game that Florida State would fit right in the Big East with its stingy defense, and this game looked just like a conference battle.
Florida State last led 50-49 on a pair of free throws by Loucks with 2:09 left after Gates' fourth personal foul of the game. That's when the Bearcats took over.
The first half gave a glimpse of what the final 20 minutes would be.
Snaer hit back-to-back 3s within the first 3 minutes after the Seminoles' leading scorer was shut out in their opening win over St. Bonaventure. Snaer missed on a couple of airballs, but he still had nine points by halftime.
Florida State led 26-25 at the break largely thanks to a quick six points keyed by senior Deividas Dulkys. The guard from Lithuania hit a 3-pointer, then had a pair of steals.
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