Florida State led by six at the break, but it should have been more. In the first half they turned the ball over six times either on forced passes into the post or on bad lobs. They had multiple live ball turnovers which they failed to turn into points. And so in the 2nd half, when ‘Noles went cold from deep and Wake Forest got hot, they didn’t have the cushion they should have. Instead of a big road win, they went home with a disappointing 76-72 loss.
The game got off to a weird start with the first media timeout not coming until only 11:37 was remaining in the half. FSU was trailing 17-14, but once the game got moving again they were quickly able to take the lead and stretch it out to ten.
But then FSU turned it over twice, and Wake finished on a 4-0 run to cut the halftime lead to 39-33.
In the 2nd half, Wake made four of their first five 3s, and FSU never made one in the half. Wake took the lead, and kept threatening the blow the game wide open. But every time, the Seminoles clawed their way back.
A couple of Trent Forrest free throws cut the deficit to one, and then Braian Angola hit a long two on a baseline out of bounds play, and FSU had their first lead since early in the half, with a bit under two minutes to go.
With 1:21 left in the half, and Wake’s shot clock winding down, Phil Cofer committed a bad foul which put Bryant Crawford on the line. He made both, and Wake was back up by one.
On the next possession, FSU spread the floor for Cofer, who drove and drew the foul. What had been a great game for him suddenly turned on its head as he missed both free throws. Terance Mann failed to foul Doral Moore immediately after the rebound, and in the mad scramble which followed, Moore snuck loose for a dunk.
MJ Walker had a good look to tie the game in the final seconds, but instead missed FSU’s eighth three of the half.
Phil Cofer led FSU with 23 points, and was really the only reason FSU had a chance down the stretch. Christ Koumadje and Terance Mann were the only other ‘Noles in double figures, each scoring 10.
The FSU defense, already last in ACC play, got lit up again.
The Seminoles fall to 16-6 (5-5), and if they want to make the Tourney, are going to have to pull a couple of upsets down the stretch.
The ‘Noles play at Louisville on Saturday.