Which one is more depressing – playing the 9:00 game and having the 7:00 game run 25 minutes late? Or when the game finally comes on and you find out that Corey Alexander is one of the announcers so you know you’re going to hear him talk about himself for half of the game? It’s a toss-up. And to make matters worse, State struggled against defensive pressure and came out on the wrong end of 90-83 score against Florida State in Tallahassee Tuesday night.

The game could be summed up in three areas: The Pack’s defense was not very good for the most part. And when they did defend well, the Seminoles hit some shots they had no business making. Florida State shot 59.7% from the field. And while there were too many easy shots in the paint, there were quite a few jump shots that were exasperating to watch go in.

And the third area was how much trouble State had when after a made basket, the home team applied hard full-court pressure. And it was even worse because the two point guards that State has were ineffective in the game. Michael O’Connell was scoreless in 18 minutes, as was Breon Pass, who did not put up any standard number in the box score, yet was somehow a -10 in three minutes on the floor.

That meant coach Kevin Keatts had to rely on DJ Horne to play point guard for more minutes than he would have preferred. Horne finished with a respectable 15 points but he converted just 6-17 shots. And to further confound things, DJ Burns did not score a point in the game. Burns was no match defensively for any of the bigs that Florida State used in the game and played just 12 minutes, sitting the majority of the second half.

State did get some unexpected points from elsewhere on the roster. Jayden Taylor came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points. He knocked down four of six shots from 3-point distance. Casey Morsell also had a good game, as he scored 19 points and handed out six assists. Mo Diarra had a season-high 13 points and also contributed nine rebounds.

The Pack usually does a good job of taking care of the ball but in this game, they had 14 turnovers. It seemed like more. And even when they didn’t give the ball away, it took too long to get anything going offensively. All things considered it was kind of shocking that they scored 83 points.

But you’re going to lose the overwhelming number of games where you allow your opponent to shoot nearly 60% from the floor.

And things don’t get any easier from here. The remaining three games are all Quad 1 contests, with two on the road. Saturday is in the Dean Dome versus the Tar Heels and two days later is a home game against Duke. And the season wraps up with a game at Pitt, a team which already has a win over State under its belt.

The double-bye in the conference tournament is all but lost. Currently at 9-8 in ACC action and in a three-way tie for seventh place, State would be the ninth seed, as they are 0-2 against the teams they are tied with, Pitt and FSU.

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