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03/19/2013 10:18 PM EDT
Louisiana Tech upsets Florida State 71-66 in NIT
LOUISIANA TECH 71, FLORIDA ST 66

By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State won't forget Louisiana
Tech's Raheem Appleby anytime soon.



The rail-thin, 6-3 sophomore lit up the Seminoles for 21 of his
27 points in the second half to help Louisiana Tech snap a
season-ending three-game losing streak with a 71-66 win at
Florida State in a first-round National Invitational Tournament
game Tuesday night.



Freshman Alex Hamilton, who comes from nearby Chipley, Fla.,
added 16 points to help Louisiana Tech rally from a nine-point
second half deficit.



Appleby, who made 12 of 19 shots overall, made three quick
baskets in a 52-second span that keyed an 11-0 run that gave the
lower-seeded Bulldogs a 37-35 lead.



"That really got me going," Appleby said. "When I get going, I
feel real good with my flow and that's what happened in the
second half."



And Florida State couldn't find an answer as Appleby hit 9 of 12
shots from the floor in the decisive final half when the
Bulldogs shot 65.5 percent.



"To do it against a really good defensive program like Florida
State really has to give him a lot of confidence," Bulldogs'
coach Michael White said.



"They were a little more aggressive," Florida State coach
Leonard Hamilton said, noting the Seminoles' 18 turnovers. "They
were quicker to the ball and created those deflections and
opportunities because of playing at that high level of energy
that we just didn't seem to match."



Louisiana Tech (27-6) will meet the winner of Wednesday's game
between Southern Miss and Charleston Southern in second-round
NIT play.



"We were 26-3 and came in here 26-6," White said, noting the
three-game, season-ending collapse that likely cost his club a
shot at the NCAA tournament. "But this heals a couple of
wounds."



Michael Snaer led Florida State with 24 points in his final game
for the Seminoles while junior Okaro White added 11. Snaer's 14
points in the first half led Florida State to a 28-24 lead.
Snaer finished his career in eighth place on the school's
scoring charts with 1,560 points.



But the Seminoles couldn't overcome a 36-29 rebounding deficit
and the turnovers.



"We turned the ball over without really giving them a chance to
work for it," Hamilton lamented. "That's what I'm disappointed
in."



Florida State (18-16) completed a disappointing season after
winning its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship a year
ago.



"It was a learning process," Hamilton said about a season when
he used five freshmen and two junior college transfers in his
lineup. "We need to be sure we come back a little more mature."



Coincidentally, Louisiana Tech went 18-16 a year ago.



"I think we'll be right back in the mix," Hamilton said.

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