NEW YORK (AP) — What you are about to read is true: There is a college basketball player who would rather come off the bench than be in the starting lineup.
Yup, there is at least one and he was a big reason his team took home a tournament title.
Reserve forward Terrance Shannon scored 15 points — 11 in the final 13:45 — and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Florida State to a 73-66 victory over Saints Joseph’s on Saturday night in the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center.
Shannon likes not hearing his name in pregame introductions. He would rather do what he does for the Seminoles.
“I have really gotten into that sixth man role,” Shannon said. “I like bringing that spark, that energy the team needs once the game gets going. And on this team it’s not like there’s a big drop-off to the second group.”
After Saint Joseph’s got within 63-60, Shannon scored six straight points, two on a goaltending down low, two on a long layup after a missed 3 by the Hawks and on a vicious rebound dunk with 2:14 left that made it 69-61.
“Terrance will always play starters minutes,” Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. “He loves bringing energy off the bench. He was afraid that I was going to start him and he came to me and said he wants to be the spark. He likes to watch the first 5 minutes of the game and see what we need from and other guys as well.”
Okaro White added 16 points for the Seminoles (3-1) while tournament MVP Michael Snaer had 14. Shannon had six points as Florida State closed the game on a 10-6 run after the Hawks (2-1) had closed within 63-60 with 4:47 to play.
Snaer, the only senior to play in the rotation, said this young team — five freshmen and one sophomore in the rotation — said this team has figured out some important things way before last season’s veteran team did.
“We need guys who are going to make that extra pass. We need guys to feed off each other,” said Snaer, the MVP of last season’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament when the Seminoles won their first conference title. “These guys are still learning all that, but they have learned so much and they are just going out to play and win.”
Ronald Roberts had his second double-double in as many days for the Hawks, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Carl Jones, making his first appearance of the season after serving a three-game suspension for a “violation of the University community standards,” finished with 13 points. The Hawks’ leading scorer the past two seasons had half of their four 3-pointers as they struggled from beyond the arc.
“Let’s call it the way it is,” Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. “He stood around too much and then instead of being hard to guard he was easy to guard. He wasn’t playing four games tonight, he was playing one and it was a loss.”
The Seminoles, who beat BYU 88-70 in the semifinals, shot 54.5 percent from the field (30 of 55) and they made six of their 13 3-point attempts.
The Hawks, who advanced by beating No. 20 Notre Dame 79-70 in overtime, were 1 for 11 from 3-point range in the second half and finished 4 for 21 overall (19.0 percent).
Down the stretch Saint Joseph’s four 3-point attempts in as many possessions, a streak ended by Jones’ 3 with 4:47 left that brought the Hawks within 63-60.
The Hawks finished with a 35-29 rebound advantage, including 15-7 on the offensive end which they converted into 18 points but the Seminoles dominated inside overall, finishing with a 44-30 scoring advantage in the paint.
The Hawks also hurt themselves at the free throw line going 16 of 26 while the Seminoles were 7 of 10.
“People are asking ‘Were we tired playing a second straight night?’ Martelli said. “I don’t believe that. I don’t accept that. You are supposed to empty your tank. We didn’t do that tonight. There was no pop, no sizzle. We’ll be back at practice soon.”
Notre Dame beat BYU 78-68 in the third-place game.
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