Williams leads No. 8 Florida State past Pittsburgh 82-67

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton.
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton. (Associated Press)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Patrick Williams is feeling more comfortable, and the freshman’s play has the rest of the ACC very uncomfortable.

Williams scored 16 points, Anthony Polite had 10 points and six rebounds and No. 8 Florida State pulled away in the second half and beat Pittsburgh 82-67 on Tuesday night.

A 6-foot-8 forward, Williams came off the bench to score in double figures for the 10th time this season for the Seminoles (22-4, 12-3 ACC), who improved to 14-0 at home.

“Confidence comes with experience,” Williams said. “Towards the beginning, little experience in college at all and then little experience in the ACC. I feel like really the game has been slowing down a lot for me. I’ve just been able to think the game more.”

Williams’ athleticism and instincts are showing. He has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, and his last two games have been among his best. On Saturday, he scored 17 points in a win over Syracuse — his highest point total in an ACC game — on 7-of-14 shooting. On Tuesday, it was another efficient night as he shot 7 of 12 from the floor and grabbed five rebounds.

“He’s really starting to blossom,” Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel said. “There’s a reason why he’s looked at as one of the top guys, potentially, for the NBA draft, if that’s something he chooses to do.”

Williams has plenty of time to make that decision. For now, he’s a spark plug off the bench each game. Led by Williams, Polite and Dominik Olejniczak (eight points), FSU's bench outscored Pittsburgh 53-15.

“I was very pleased with our bench,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Our rotation guys came in and gave us a lot of effort and execution.”