Polite scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive match. The budding goalkeeper in a red jersey has only done so six times in the 2019-20 season.
The Seminoles (5-1) outperformed Gardner Webb 53-30. Polite grabbed nine panels, while Koprivica and RaiQuan Gray added eight panels each.
Florida lost a pair of NBA sweepstakes picks from last season’s squad, as Patrick Williams was drafted by Chicago and Devin Vasil by San Antonio. Starting point goalkeeper and captain Trent Forrest also moved to the NBA, which was signed by Utah as a free, un drafted agent.
Coach Leonard Hamilton said the Seminoles are still studying chemistry, rotation and responsibilities as veterans have been asked to take on bigger roles and newcomers take the court at crucial moments as well.
“It takes some time to adjust when these roles change,” Hamilton said. “You have four men taking on new roles. It’s a period of transition.
“I like to think we’re heading in the right direction.”
Despite losing to UCF on Saturday, the Seminoles weathered the storm and so could be expected to go on vacation. Despite another slow start, Florida State hit 24 of 32 (75%) from the free throw line to banish the match.
Koprivica, a 7-foot, 1-year sophomore center, was able to use its elevation advantage, shooting 4 of 5 from the ground and a 6 for 6 at the free throw line. Gray scored only four points but had an effect on the defensive end with eight rebounds, two blocks and a steal. The comprehensive efforts of Polite, Koprivica and Gray ensured that the Seminoles would enter a hiatus with positive momentum.
“We have definitely answered the challenge,” Pollitt said. “We took it personally. The team that appeared against UCF is not us. We managed to show what we were capable of.”
Lance Terry scored 23 points for Gardner Webb (1-4), which did not score in the 2:42 Final. Terry 8 was from the 19th floor.
Florida 60-14 since the start of the 2018-19 season.
Florida slipped from 15th to 21st place on Monday and that win will likely do little to impress voters.
Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft is back in his hometown for the first time as a college basketball coach. Kraft is a graduate of nearby Florida High School. Since taking over as coach in the 2013-14 season, Runnin ‘Bulldogs have upset Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Bordeaux and Nebraska.
Gardner-Webb: The Runnin ‘Bulldogs came in firing at 40% of the 3-point range, but was only 9 out of 33 (27%) against the Seminoles.
Florida State: The Seminoles won despite 6 wins out of 33 (18%) of the 3-point range. They have made no less than eight 3s per match this season.
Gardner-Webb: The Runnin ‘Bulldogs is resting for the holidays and will play in Hampton on December 30th.
Florida: Seminole has a vacation break and will play Clemson on December 29.
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