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11:30 AM PT12:30 PM MT1:30 PM CT2:30 PM ET7:30 PM GMT3:30 PM 北京时间12:30 PM MST2:30 PM EST, Dec 22, 2018
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

No. 11 Florida State aims for sixth straight win vs. Saint Louis

No. 11 Florida State is rolling, and other than a loss to defending NCAA national champion Villanova, the Seminoles have been unbeatable so far in 2018.

But they have a few more tests before closing out their non-conference schedule and entering Atlantic Coast Conference play in January.

One of two final non-ACC games goes down Saturday in Sunrise, Fla., where Florida State (10-1) will face Saint Louis (8-3).

The game, which will be the Seminoles' third this week, is part of the Metro PCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. Florida State is about to compete in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic for the seventh straight year.

The Seminoles are coming off their fifth straight win -- over North Florida on Wednesday -- since their lone loss of the year, 66-60 on Nov. 25 to Villanova.

Florida State 6-foot-10 reserve forward Mfiondu Kabengele shined in the victory against the Ospreys, scoring a career-high 24 points and dominating on the floor, around the glass and at the free throw line, where he was 10 of 10.

The performance left North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll in awe after the game.

"A beast," Driscoll said in describing Kabengele to reporters. "And he is from the old school. He ain't from the new school. I told him after the game, 'If you stay this way, you are going to make as much as you ever want to make. If you stay and do what you do.'"

Kabengele, who could soon find himself in a starting role now that he has scored in double figures in seven of Florida State's 11 games, said he appreciated the praise.

"I'm not the type of person that overtly over-talents somebody," said Kabengele, who is averaging a team-best 12.4 points per game. "I have to work for everything I have. All of my success comes from my hard work. So I have to feed that and continue to work on my game."

But Saint Louis presents a unique challenge for Florida State. The Billikens could easily be 11-0, having lost their three games by an average of less than four points.

Saint Louis is coming off a 74-65 win Wednesday over North Carolina Central in which leading scorer Javon Bess (15.0 ppg) led the way with 19 points.

But Bess is even more renowned for his defense, which Billikens coach Travis Ford called "the best in the country" after a 64-52 win over Butler earlier this year.

"He's the best defender in the country. The best in the country," Ford said of Bess, who has 19 steals this season and has grabbed a team-high 66 defensive rebounds. "I'm not just saying that cause I'm bias. The stats back that up. It's a fact."

Saturday's game will mark the 13th meeting between the Billikens and the Seminoles, who lead the series 11-1. The last time they played, however, was 36 years ago on Jan. 23, 1982 -- an 89-73 Florida State win.

The Seminoles close their non-conference schedule on Jan. 1 at home against Winthrop, then Florida State enters ACC play four days later on Jan. 5 against No. 5 Virginia.

Saint Louis also has just one non-conference game left before it begins Atlantic 10 play, hosting Appalachian State on Dec. 30 before kicking off A-10 action Jan. 6 against Rhode Island.

Updated December 21, 2018

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