Florida State basketball (7-5, 1-2 ACC) fell to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (12-3, 2-2 ACC) 76-54 on Tuesday night in Winston-Salem. The Seminoles offense went ice cold in the first half and a hot start to the second half by Wake put the game out of reach early for FSU. The Seminoles finished the game shooting just 24.2% from the field and were 4-25 from beyond the arc.
Malik Osborne got the scoring started for the Seminoles with a hook shot as Demon Deacons surrounded him on FSU’s second possession. Another bucket by Osborne and a steal-and-score by RayQuan Evans opened up a quick 6-0 lead. A trio of WF free throws cut FSU’s lead in half, but a corner triple by Anthony Polite put the ‘Noles up 9-3 at the first media timeout.
Wake’s first made field goal came over four minutes in. An and-one by Khadim Sy and a layup quickly cut the Seminoles’ lead to one. Matthew Cleveland was quickly subbed out after two early fouls. A triple by Sy tied the game at 11. A massive block by Naheem McLeod forced Wake’s second shot clock violation within the first eight minutes.
Despite five turnovers by the Deacons, FSU trailed 13-11 at the under-12 media timeout. The Seminoles didn’t make a shot between the two media timeouts, as they missed seven straight field goals.
Out of the timeout, Florida State’s offense continued to struggle and Wake Forest took advantage. A triple by Isaiah Mucius extended the deficit to seven. After a turnover by Polite in transition, Leonard Hamilton called his first timeout. The Seminoles were on a scoring drought of five-plus minutes.
The missed shots weren’t the Seminoles’ only issue. Within the first 12 minutes, FSU had racked up nine fouls. Evans, Cleveland, and John Butler each had a pair. Another three pointer by Mucius put Wake up 12. After FSU’s 14th straight missed field goal, Caleb Mills picked up a second foul of his own. 13 minutes into the game, Wake had attempted 13 free throws and the Seminoles had attempted two. The fouls forced Justin Lindner into the game with over six minutes left in the first half.
A corner triple by Cam’Ron Fletcher snapped a scoring drought of nearly eight minutes. A steal by Lindner led to a transition dunk by Fletcher. Moments later, Fletcher looked to have a steal-and-score, but was called for a charge. The charge made Fletcher FSU’s fifth player with multiple fouls just 15 minutes in. On the flip side, Wake had just two fouls. The ‘Noles trailed 27-16 at the final media timeout of the half.
Wyatt Wilkes hit his first triple to cut the deficit back to single digits out of the timeout. FSU left Jake LaRavia wide open beyond the arc as he hit his first triple. The Seminoles couldn’t respond, as they missed back-to-back threes to go into the half down 13.
The Seminoles were just 7-31 (23%) from the floor and 3-15 (20%) from deep in the first half. Wake made 39% of their field goals and were 4-13 on triples. Wake was 13-17 at the line, while FSU was 5-6 (all taken by McLeod). The ‘Noles had seven steals, but could only turn them into six points. Fletcher and McLeod were FSU’s leading scores with just five points.
The Demon Deacons quickly extended their lead to 19 out of the locker room with scores on their first four possessions. Mucius’ third triple put FSU down 22 just three minutes into the half. A 9-0 run by WF forced Hamilton’s second timeout. FSU trailed 46-28 at the first media timeout of the half.
An and-one by Alondes Williams put Wake up 24 with over 13 minutes remaining. The and-one gave Williams seven straight points. FSU trailed 55-34 at the U12 timeout. The Seminoles had scored just one more second half point than Williams had himself in the first eight minutes.
Cleveland became FSU’s first player with double-digit points as he converted an and-one. All of his points came in the second half. Through 11 minutes in the half, the freshman had 11 of the Seminoles’ 19 second half points. Four straight free throws by Mills put the Seminoles on a 9-0 run. Back-to-back steals gave FSU a chance to extend the run, but Polite missed a lay-up and Cleveland was called for a charge. The ‘Noles trailed 61-45 at the U8 TO.
Out of the timeout, LaRavia converted an and-one to stop the run and extend Wake’s lead to 19 with 7:22 remaining. FSU was able to create back-to-back turnovers, but once again couldn’t make Wake pay. Mills missed a jumper (making him 0-10) and Cleveland couldn’t convert a transition layup. Another and-one from LaRavia was the dagger as it put Wake up 66-45 with five minutes remaining. In a four minute span, FSU had three turnovers and zero points.
According to DraftKings, FSU was a 1.5 point underdog to Wake Forest.
Up next: FSU will return home for their first home game in 24 days on Saturday as the Louisville Cardinals travel to Tallahassee. Louisville is 3-0 in the ACC. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM from the Tucker Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU.