Keyontae Johnson Injury Overshadows Rivalry Game
The Florida State men’s basketball team extends its win streak over the Florida Gators to seven games on Saturday with an 83-71 win in Tallahassee. However, the Gators lost more than just a rivalry match up in Tallahassee. Less than four minutes into the game star forward Keyontae Johnson collapsed walking onto the court following a timeout. A stretcher was brought out onto the floor, and after evaluation Johnson was then brought to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he remains in critical, but stable condition. He will spend the night there and Gator coach Mike White will be there with him.
As the scene was evolving Florida players were seen embracing each other with tears in their eyes on the sidelines. The game’s intensity never recovered, as it was clear the energy among the Gators did not feel right. At the time of Johnson’s injury, Florida led 11-3. The Gators were able to maintain their lead throughout most of the first half, building their lead up to nine points with 9:07 left in the first half. But then FSU went on a 17-0 run, to go up 31-23, and never looked back. The Gators would trail the rest of the game, and eventually drop their first game of the young season.
Despite the loss for the Gators there were bright spots with sophomore guard Scottie Lewis having an impressive stat line of 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three blocked shots. Sophomore guard Tre Mann was also impressive with 17 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
The Seminoles had some great play from their starters including 14 points (including 3 of 4 from three) for junior guard Anthony Polite, 17 points from senior guard M.J. Walker, and a powerhouse performance from freshman guard Scottie Barnes who contributed 17 points to the FSU cause.
The Gators turned the ball over 20 times in the game, which is never a recipe for success. The Seminoles also struggled with turnovers, turning the ball over 16 times; however their 50 percent shooting from the three point line helped offset those turnovers.
What’s Next for Each Team
The win moves the Florida State Seminoles to 3-0 with their next game scheduled at home Tuesday against Georgia Tech. The Seminoles remaining schedule consists of a plethora of tough match ups including games against ranked opponents in Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
The loss on Saturday will seem as nothing but a side note to Gator fans, as all of the attention shifts to the medical status of Keyontae Johnson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Johnson family, and hope for a speedy recovery.