• 66°

Walker helps No. 8 Florida State beat NC State, 67-61

By AARON BEARD AP Basketball Writer
RALEIGH (AP) — Eighth-ranked Florida State responded to a halftime deficit with an aggressive edge, driving the paint and attacking the glass. The Seminoles even threw in a few zone-defense looks, an unusual sight for coach Leonard Hamilton’s bunch.
That combination gave the Seminoles an edge on the road against a confident team that had just soundly beaten a top-10 opponent.
M.J. Walker scored all 12 of his points after halftime to help Florida State take control and beat North Carolina State 67-61 on Saturday, keeping the Seminoles in the cluster atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.
“This time of year for our team, you’d like to think that you’re growing and maturing and adjusting to the things that are going on on the court,” Hamilton said. “I thought our guys responded very well in the locker room. We wanted to be more aggressive.”
The Seminoles (23-4, 13-3 ACC) did that at both ends after trailing 32-27 at halftime. They went ahead for good with about 13 1/2 minutes left against a Wolfpack team that beat No. 6 Duke by 22 points a few days earlier.
Devon Daniels scored 18 points to lead N.C. State (17-10, 8-8), which was trying to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume even more. But the Wolfpack shot 41% and couldn’t get to the line after halftime with the same frequency, a combination that turned scoring into a tougher test.
The frustration built for the Wolfpack, so much that coach Kevin Keatts picked up a technical foul with 9:21 left after Markell Johnson couldn’t draw a whistle on a drive.
Afterward, Keatts said he was “going to fight” for his team and pointed to FSU’s 29-13 advantage in free-throw attempts for the game.
“That’s tough,” Keatts said. “It’s tough because when you’re playing against another team that will pick you up full-court, typically like we do, and you play the entire time and there’s a disparity in free throws, I didn’t like it. I wasn’t happy with that part of it.”
BIG PICTURE
FSU: The Seminoles handled the halftime deficit with composure to win for the sixth time in seven games. They made 10 of 17 shots to take a 57-48 lead on Trent Forrest’s basket in the lane and were up big on the boards for much of the second half before finishing the half with a 23-17 advantage.
N.C. State: The Duke win helped push N.C. State to No. 51 in the NET rankings as of Saturday with five Quadrant 1 wins. But with only one more Quadrant 1 game left on the schedule, N.C. State could have helped itself by getting this one, too.
CLINCHED
The ACC said FSU’s win secured a top-four seed in next month’s ACC Tournament and the double bye into the quarterfinals that comes with it.
WALKER’S BURST
Walker was limited to 6 first-half minutes after picking up two fouls, but he had 10 points in the first 5 minutes of the second half.
“It was just being aggressive, driving the ball,” Walker said. “I think we were a little too passive in the first half from watching on the bench.”
IN THE ZONE
Hamilton said the second-half zone came after the Seminoles struggled to contain dribble penetration.
“That’s something we work on to keep in our package so that we can have something that throws other teams off,” Forrest said. “When you think of us, you don’t never-hardly-ever think of a zone helping us win games.
“So when we can do that and kind of change the pace of the game in our favor and have the other team kind of guessing on what we’re trying to do, I mean, we’ll take that any day of the week.”
TIP-INS
Patrick Williams also had 12 points for FSU. … Johnson, who had a career-high 28 points against Duke, finished with seven points on 3-for-10 shooting for N.C. State. … FSU has tied a program record for ACC single-season wins. … Malik Osborne had nine points and 12 rebounds for the Seminoles. … N.C. State shot just three free throws after halftime.
UP NEXT
FSU: The Seminoles host No. 11 Louisville on Monday with a chance to sweep the Cardinals after winning on the road on Jan. 4.
N.C. State: North Carolina hosts the Wolfpack on Tuesday, with N.C. State looking to avenge a home loss to the rival Tar Heels on Jan. 27.
___
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
___
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull

Local

Quotes of the week

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts