TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Freshman Devon Bookert scored a career-high 18 points and Michael Snaer added 17 as Florida State fought back from an eight-point deficit in the second half Saturday to defeat North Carolina State 71-67 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
A pair of free throws by Bookert gave the Seminoles (17-14, 9-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) their first lead of the second half at 57-55. He then added a jumper with 2:01 left to snap a tie at 62 with 2:01 left and three free throws in the final 1:23 of the see-saw contest featured by nine lead changes and nine tied scores.
Snaer broke away and caught a length-of-the court pass from Okaro White for an uncontested dunk that gave Florida State a 67-63 lead with 32 seconds left after both teams suffered turnovers in previous possessions with the lead on the line.
Richard Howell’s 3-point play with 21 seconds left got the `Pack to within 67-66. He scored off a missed 3 by Wood and was fouled on the put back.
Scott Wood’s 18 points led North Carolina State, which could lose out on a first-round bye in next week’s ACC tournament if Virginia defeats Maryland on Sunday. The Wolfpack had won seven of its seven previous games and hoped to clinch a first-day bye in the upcoming ACC tourney and strengthen its position for a NCAA postseason bid.
North Carolina State (22-9, 11-7) led 35-34 at the half and built its advantage to eight points on three occasions in the second half, the last time at 49-41 and led 59-57 lead with 3:51 left when Wood sank two free throws after a technical foul was whistled against Florida State’s Ian Miller, who had just fouled out.
Florida State, the defending ACC champions, was scrambling down the stretch to finish with a .500 conference mark and perhaps win an invite for a postseason NIT bid. Eight of the Seminoles’ wins this season are by five points or less.
Freshman T.J. Warren, whose .613 field goal percentage leads the ACC, had season-highs of 31 points and 13 rebounds to lead NC State to an 84-66 win over the Seminoles in Raleigh, N.C. on Feb. 19, finished with eight points Saturday.
Lorenzo Brown, who led an 11-2 run to end the first half that gave NC State a 35-34 lead, scored 14 points and Howell finished with 10. C.J. Leslie, who played just 18 minutes because of foul trouble, had just five points and three rebounds.
Wood and Brown each had 12 points in the first half while Leslie sat for 12 minutes on the bench after three early fouls — the third being assessed on a technical.