Florida State dunked, and dunked, and kept on dunking, running away from Wake Forest 88-66
Coming off two straight wins over likely NCAA Tournament teams and with a three-game road trip ahead, the Seminoles seemed to be in a great spot for a letdown. Right on cue, the game got off to an uneven start for the Garnet and Gold.
Wake Forest entered the game allowing opponents to shoot more than 53% on their twos, so there was an obvious intent to get Christ Koumadje the ball early. The 7’4 center from Chad took four shots in the first four minutes, making two. However, despite getting good looks from around the court, FSU couldn’t make anything outside of three feet and the teams were tied at 7 at the under 16.
Perhaps sensing his team lacking fire, Coach Hamilton—notorious for his liberal use of his bench—made no subs after the first media timeout. The starters didn’t seem to get the message.
In addition to some lackadaisical play from Florida State, the Demon Deacons came out with an uncharacteristically hot shooting touch. In fact, the 334th worst three point shooting team in the country (there’s only 353 teams...) hit 5 of their first 9 from deep and 6 of their first 12. This allowed Wake to stay in the game despite shooting just 36% overall in the first half and only making 3-6 from the free throw line.
Trailing 23-18 with seven and some change left before the break, Florida State finally made a run that created a little distance between themselves and their visitors from Tobacco Road. A lineup that featured four starters plus Devin Vassell found ways to score from inside and outside. Koumadje had three dunks and a tip-in, Vassell drilled two shots from beyond the arc, and FSU finished on a 20-8 run to take a 38-31 lead into the locker room.
The second half picked up where the first half left off: Wake missing everything but threes and Koumadje rattling the rim on nearly every possession. By early in the second stanza, Koumadje already had eight dunks and a season-high 18 points in 18 minutes.
Following a high-flying alley-oop from Terance Mann, the ’Noles had stretched the lead out to 12 and Danny Manning called timeout. The timeout did not have its intended effect.
Another Mann slamma-jamma alley-oop brought the house down and the Seminoles had officially woken up. The lead quickly grew to 21 points, FSU kept on throwing down dunks, with the margin hovering around the 20 point mark for the rest of the game.
Koumadje finished with 20 points on 10-12 shooting. The big man had his first career double-double with 12 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive end. His dominance down low led to FSU outscoring Wake 50-16 in the paint.
Phil Cofer, fresh off a goose-egg against Louisville, and PJ Savoy were the other Seminoles in double figures. Cofer scored 13 points on 3-6 from deep, while Savoy added 11, making 3-4 from the perimeter.
In all, 13 Seminoles scored and no player logged more than 28 minutes (Forrest).