No. 20 Florida St. 76, NC State 62
No. 20 Florida State is turning Tobacco Road into its own
The Seminoles beat North Carolina State 76-62 on Saturday, and
that gave them victories against all four of the state’s Atlantic
Coast Conference schools in the same season for the first time.
Ian Miller scored 17 points, Bernard James had 12 and Okaro
White and Michael Snaer each finished with 10 to help Florida State
(19-7, 10-2) improve to 4-0 against North Carolina’s four
The Seminoles will go for the sweep next Thursday when No. 5
Duke makes a return trip to Tallahassee.
”We’re not from Tobacco Road where everyone pays attention to
basketball,” Snaer said. ”There’s an added emotion. You’re up
here, and you want to win every single game. All of the North
Carolina teams are very strong, so talented, and we want to take
They never trailed, shot 49 percent, led by double figures for
the entire second half, held N.C. State to 29 percent shooting –
its worst of the season, by far – and forced 17 turnovers. That
helped Florida State win its third straight and remain atop the
C.J. Leslie scored 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (18-9, 7-5),
but the rest of the team combined to shoot 9 of 44 in their second
straight loss with both coming to nationally ranked teams in the
span of fewer than 48 hours.
”We have to accept the fact that if you want to play in the
greatest show on Earth, then you better toughen up and you better
man up, pal,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ”There is no
other way to look at it. Teams that get to play in March are
mentally tough enough to withstand most things, and they fight
their way through it. … We’re not there, and we’ve got to get
And making the day even more miserable for the Wolfpack,
ex-players Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani – whose jersey numbers
hang in the RBC Center’s rafters – were ejected from behind the
scorer’s table with about 6 1/2 minutes left by official Karl
Hess declined comment several times when approached after the
game by a reporter for The Associated Press, while Corchiani
tweeted that Hess ”didn’t like fact Googs (and) I told him he was
having a bad day, inconsistent, (and) telling the truth.”
Said Gottfried: ”I don’t have any idea what happened
The Seminoles, who haven’t lost in Raleigh since 2006, have
their defense largely to thank for their latest win here.
They entered allowing teams to shoot just 37 percent –
second-best in the ACC – and clamped down on an N.C. State team
that makes nearly 47 percent of its shots. Much of the Wolfpack’s
offense came from the free throw line, where they were 25 of
Florida State outscored N.C. State 18-9 during an 8 1/2-minute
stretch of the second half, with White’s tip-in with 10 minutes to
play making it a 20-point game for the first time at 57-37.
The Wolfpack cut it to 12 three times, the last on Leslie’s free
throw with 4:25 left. Florida State then re-established its
comfortable lead by reeling off seven quick points, with Miller’s
layup making it 70-51 with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
The win was especially sweet for Miller, a native of Charlotte
who finished one point shy of a career high.
”Being from North Carolina, it’s a big thing” to conquer
Tobacco Road, he said. ”Not a lot of teams have done that. I’m
Lorenzo Brown had 12 points and Richard Howell added 11 rebounds
for N.C. State, which hadn’t shot worse than 36.8 percent this
season, against No. 8 North Carolina.
Leading scorer Scott Wood, who averages 13.2 points, finished
with eight on 1-for-10 shooting while hitting his only field goal
with about 6 minutes left. Gottfried said he thought Wood might
have gotten tired.
”You will never see Scott Wood go 1 for 10 again,” Florida
State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
This game matched two teams that were on the opposite ends of
comebacks last time out. Florida State rallied from 15 points down
with 15 minutes left to beat Virginia Tech on Thursday night. A few
hours earlier the Wolfpack took a 20-point lead with 11 1/2 minutes
left against No. 5 Duke, only to allow the Blue Devils to storm
back for a 78-73 win.
”As a team, we didn’t come. We weren’t mentally there,” Leslie
said. ”That’s very important that, as a team, we be on the same
page. We all weren’t on the same page, and we didn’t come out and
act like we wanted to win this game.”
It also marked the midpoint of a brutal stretch for N.C. State,
which in a six-day span was playing all three teams that shared the
ACC lead. The Wolfpack host the Tar Heels on Tuesday night.
Early on, Leslie found a way to produce some offense but didn’t
get much help from his teammates. He hit five of his eight shots in
the first half for 12 points – but the rest of the Wolfpack was a
combined 1 of 21 in the half.
Miller’s 3 with 8 seconds left in the half put Florida State up
by double figures for good, making it 37-26 at the break.