Florida State comes alive in 2nd half, beats Wake Forest in double overtime
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State leaned on a pair of freshmen — for points and minutes — in a double overtime win.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 21 points, hitting a long jump shot and then two free throws in the final minute of double overtime, and Phil Cofer added 19 points and eight rebounds as Florida State defeated Wake Forest 82-76 on Wednesday.
"We had to fight, claw and scratch and scratch and claw just to win a double overtime game," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We were very fortunate to come away with a victory tonight."
Rathan-Mayes played a season-high 47 minutes, while Cofer notched 37 minutes. Both freshmen provided energy to a team that desperately needed a spark — at first in the second half and then in the overtime periods.
"They’re growing up," Hamilton said. "They’re learning. It shows that they have ACC potential."
Both teams squandered chances to win the game early on. Rathan-Mayes misfired on a long 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and Montay Brandon missed a layup with 33 seconds to go in the first overtime. Wake’s Mitchell Wilbekin missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to finish the first overtime.
Devon Bookert had 15 points for Florida State (11-10, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), making 3 of 4 3-pointers. The Seminoles shot 27 of 58 (46.6 percent) from the floor.
Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 25 points and Cornelius Hudson added 18 for Wake Forest (9-12, 1-7), which lost its fourth straight game. The Demon Deacons shot 24 of 70 (34.3 percent) from the floor, including just 8 of 27 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Hudson was the exception for Wake Forest, coming off the bench to make a season-high five 3-pointers.
"Unfortunately for us, we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch," Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said. "Florida State made some big shots and came up with some offensive rebounds and some loose balls down the stretch to help push them over."
Wake Forest pulled out to an early 19-4 lead halfway through the first half as Florida State went 6-plus minutes without a basket. But Florida State gradually chipped away at Wake Forest’s lead, tying the game at 43 on a Rathan-Mayes layup with 14:09 left in regulation.
Florida State led 65-61 with 1:21 left in regulation, but Miller-McIntyre made a jump shot and then tied the game at 65 with 11 seconds to go to force overtime.
After both teams missed chances to win the game in the first overtime, Florida State outscored Wake Forest 10-4 in the final five minutes. Cofer put FSU ahead for good, 77-75, on a slam dunk off an assist by Bookert with 1:25 left.
Cofer had nine of his 19 points in overtime and double overtime. The freshman made 9 of 13 shots from the floor.
"He has the heart of a lion," Hamilton said. "He gave us some big plays down the stretch."
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons haven’t had much success against FSU the past few years. Wake had lost six of its last seven games against the Seminoles going in to Wednesday’s game.
Florida State: Signee Dwayne Bacon was named to the McDonald’s All-American team.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes has scored in double figures in seven of Florida State’s eight ACC games. After scoring 35 points in the Seminoles’ loss at North Carolina on Saturday, Rathan-Mayes shot 8 of 15 from the floor and had five assists against Wake Forest.
Wake Forest’s Devin Thomas is the only ACC player averaging a double-double this season coming into Wednesday’s game by averaging 13.1 points and 10 rebounds. The junior forward shot just 3 of 10 from the floor but had 12 points and 12 rebounds against the Seminoles.
Wake Forest hosts Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Florida State plays host to Miami on Sunday.