Darin Green Jr. and Matthew Cleveland had two of the best nights of their Florida State careers. But in a surprisingly competitive game against No. 5 Purdue, it wasn’t nearly enough.
Green Jr. scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half for Florida State but Purdue was hot from the floor in the second half and pulled away with a 79-69 win on Wednesday in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge.
Purdue center Zach Edey scored 25 points on 11 of 14 shooting, the sixth straight game he scored 20-plus points. Edey played 33 minutes and shot 11 of 14 from the floor and Purdue (7-0) made 53.6 percent of its shots in the second half.
A junior transfer from UCF, Green Jr. shot 7 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Matthew Cleveland had 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting with six rebounds for the Seminoles. Cleveland was one point shy of his season high from Jan. 2022 against North Florida.
FSU (1-8) was coming off three straight double-digit losses to Siena, Stanford and Nebraska. But the Seminoles put up plenty of fight, albeit in a first half that wasn’t often a thing of beauty and also featured a jet-lagged Purdue that had just played in a weekend tournament in Portland.
The Seminoles assuredly are not playing for moral victories but in a November where nearly everything has gone wrong, a good night against a top-5 team could give the players some confidence with a few ACC games to come in December.
While FSU was out rebounded 46-31, FSU had just eight turnovers.
The Seminoles shot 25 of 66 (37.9 percent) from the floor and 7 of 22 (31.8 percent) from 3-point range.
Florida State opens ACC play at Virginia at 2 p.m. on Saturday.