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Florida State pounds N.C. State 105-73

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Seminoles win in first game back after two-week absence

CREDIT: Mike Olivella, Atlantic Coast Conference

On Wednesday night, Florida State’s basketball season got back on track and then some, as the Noles blew out N.C. State 105-73 in Tallahassee. A red-hot shooting streak put FSU up by 25 points at halftime, and the Seminoles never looked back, clinching their 19th straight ACC home win.

Posting incredible shooting numbers both from the field and from three-point land, Florida State (6-2, 2-1 ACC) shot 70-percent for the game and 12-of-18 (67%) from beyond the arc. N.C. State (6-4, 2-3 ACC) was overwhelmed by a balanced attack from FSU, which saw 10 different players score and 13 players take the court.

The game was decided after a stellar first half from FSU, shooting 20-of-28 from the field in the first period.

Quickly shrugging off the rust from a 14-day layoff since their last contest, Florida State nailed their first 3 three-pointers. Leonard Hamilton shook things up and started Rayquan Evans over Scottie Barnes, and Evans rewarded the veteran FSU head coach with the game’s opening 3 points. Evans ended the game with 24 points (a career-high) on 9-11 shooting.

Another hot hand came from RaiQuan Gray, who scored 7 points in the first 5 minutes. N.C. State kept it close initially by starting 3-for-3 from the field, but when Sardaar Calhoun nailed a three to put the Noles up 24-13, it ignited the FSU offense for the rest of their fantastic first half.

Coming out of the media timeout, the Noles extended their lead to 15 with a 9-0 run. Tanor Ngom gave FSU some strong minutes and finished impressively at the rim a few times.

The offense was humming, and then Nathanael Jack entered the game to score 5 quick points for another boost. Jack helped pace FSU’s hot shooting from outside with his 18 points on 7-of-8 attempts in just 12 minutes.

FSU suddenly had doubled NC State up and now led 33-15. Throughout the rest of the first half, M.J. Walker continued his incredibly-efficient senior year. The senior guard from Jonesboro, GA scored 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

In the final 12 minutes of the period, Florida State put up 33 points, extending the lead to 25.

Evans, who scored 16 before intermission, started the second half the way he started the first: comfortably knocking down a three. Time and again FSU capitalized on transition opportunities, scoring 27 fast break points.

Walker and Barnes both took it to the hoop in transition, and Barnes blew past several defenders for a beautiful scoop layup and the foul. The star freshman connected on the free throw to put FSU by 32 still with much of the second half still left to play.

Back-to-back threes from the Wolfpack failed to cut into the Noles’ lead as Barnes continued to penetrate the defense and make the correct play. Unfortunately, the budding talent sprained his ankle with 14 minutes to play in the second half, and did not return.

N.C. State actually played FSU fairly close in the second half, but failed to cut into the lead whatsoever. The three-pointer continued to be deadly, as Jack and Walker both hit another from downtown. From there, reserves were inserted, and FSU coasted for its sixth win.

Next up, Florida State takes on North Carolina (8-4, 3-2 ACC) on Saturday. UNC defeated Syracuse 81-75 on Tuesday.

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