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Taylor Hendricks, UCF look to bounce back vs. Florida State

Sportsnaut
Nov 7, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Caleb Mills (4) reacts to the loss at the end of the second half against the Stetson Hatters at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State and UCF are not accustomed to losing season openers.

Yet that’s what happened to the Seminoles and the Knights earlier this week to open the 2022-23 campaign.

Each program will try to get back on track on Friday when Florida State travels to Orlando to face UCF.

The Knights (0-1) had been 6-0 in season-opening games under coach Johnny Dawkins before falling 98-95 in double overtime against UNC Asheville at home on Monday.

A silver lining for UCF was the play of freshman Taylor Hendricks, who led the team with 23 points. Hendricks, who also had five rebounds, three blocks and two steals, fouled out in the second overtime after sending the game to that extra period with a game-tying layup.

“I feel like I did all right, but the individual performance doesn’t really matter if you don’t get the win,” Hendricks said. “(The loss) kind of spoils it.”

UCF was without Darius Johnson, an American Athletic Conference All-Freshman point guard last season who may be out for a while with a lower leg injury, per Dawkins.

Transfers Brandon Suggs (East Carolina), Michael Durr (Indiana) and Ithiel Horton (Pittsburgh) made their team debuts. Suggs scored 16 points, Horton had 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds and Durr had 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Seminoles (0-1) didn’t have much to feel good about as they were outplayed in an 83-74 loss at home to Stetson, a team picked to finish second-to-last in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The Seminoles trailed by as many as 18 in the first half and had only eight scholarship players available with forwards Jaylan Gainey (season-ending knee injury), Baba Miller (16-game suspension), De’Ante Green (knee), and guards Chandler Jackson (broken thumb) and Jeremiah Bembry (undisclosed injury) sidelined.

“I always say that the true test of your character is how you handle adversity,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We’ve got to overcome that.”

–Field Level Media