Seminoles rally past Marquette for title
Solomon Alabi hit a baseline jumper with 11.9 seconds left, and Florida State rallied to beat Marquette, 57-56, to win the Old Spice Classic on Sunday night.
“Solomon is very capable and I have tremendous confidence in him,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I had all the confidence in the world. Went straight to him in two different situations, and he came through for us.”
Alabi also hit a jumper with 56 seconds remaining and finished with eight points.
“My team believes in me,” Alabi said.
Chris Singleton had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Florida State (6-1), which trailed by 12 points at halftime. Derwin Kitchen added 14 points.
Marquette had a late chance to win, but turned the ball over on Darius Johnson-Odom’s errant pass with 2.9 seconds remaining. The Golden Eagles (6-1) were led by Lazar Hayward, who had 19 points.
“I thought it was outstanding,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said of Florida State’s defense down the stretch. “They do a lot of different things.”
The Seminoles trailed by 17 early in second half.
Hayward’s jumper gave Marquette a 56-55 lead with 32 seconds left.
He had seven points, including a three-pointer, during a 9-2 run that put Marquette ahead, 39-22, with 15:38 left.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team,” Williams said.
Singleton’s three-point play and a basket by Ryan Reid cut the Florida State deficit to 44-39 midway through the second half. Jordan DeMercy’s slam tied it at 48 with 3:48 remaining.
“We went into halftime knowing that this 12-point lead wouldn’t stick just because of who we are,” DeMercy said. “We’re never going to give up.”