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FSU dialed in late to knock of NC State in return to court

In a tight game where every possession was critical, Florida State had a few late steals, free throws and rebounds to sneak out a win over NC State.

And a few season-best performances from Malik Osborne and Cam’Ron Fletcher were essential to a road victory in the Seminoles’ first game back since Dec. 15.

Osborne scored a season-best 19 points, Fletcher had a season-best 14 points and Matthew Cleveland had 13 points and nine rebounds in FSU’s 83-81 win over NC State on Saturday afternoon. After seeing two ACC games postponed, the Seminoles also picked up their first league victory as the calendar flips to 2022.

The Seminoles (7-5, 1-1) made 6 of 8 free-throw attempts in the final minute, while Cleveland and Fletcher had a steal each in the final 1:04. FSU finished with nine steals. 

NC State’s Dereon Seabron was a near-impossible defensive assignment. Seabron scored 32 points on 12 of 14 shooting from the floor. He also had seven assists and five rebounds for the Wolfpack (7-7, 0-3).

Fletcher saw his most extensive playing time, taking the court without a clear mask that he had worn for much of December since suffering a facial fracture at Purdue on Nov. 30. He shot 6 of 8 from the floor with six rebounds and three steals (although he was credited with six turnovers).

Mills, Polite and Osborne had seven points apiece in the first half as FSU took a 43-41 lead at the half. The Seminoles were red-hot early, making 16 of 30 (53.3 percent) of their shots from the floor and were 4 of 10 (40 percent) from 3-point range.

FSU finished 29 of 57 (50.9 percent) from the floor and 6 of 15 (40 percent) from 3-point range.

This story will be updated