(AP) - Aaron Thomas scored 22 points as top-seeded Florida State opened the National Invitation Tournament with a 58-53 win against Florida Gulf Coast, last year's NCAA tournament darlings.
Thomas carried the Seminoles in the second half, scoring 14 consecutive points during one stretch.
Bernard Thompson led the Eagles with 16 points and Jamail Jones chipped in 11.
Former Parkersburg South star Chase Fieler chipped in with 8 points, 2 rebounds and a steal for the Eagles cause.
Okaro White scored 17 for Florida State and Montay Brandon finished with eight.
Neither team could find an offensive groove for most of the night. The teams combined for 35 turnovers and the Seminoles led 24-19 at halftime. The 19 points were the second-lowest scoring half of the season for Florida Gulf Coast (22-13).
The Seminoles (20-13) used a late 8-2 run, including six from White, to grab and hold onto the lead.
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