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Prieto delivers double-double but FSU falls to Wake

Harrison Prieto became the first Florida State walk-on in decades to record a double-double.

The senior forward had career-highs in points (13) and rebounds (12) but FSU was flat offensively and dropped a fourth straight game, 68-60 to Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon.

“I know pretty much the game plan before we even do it,” Prieto said. “I know our system inside and out. So it’s not so much of a thinking about what I’m going to do. It’s more of just hyping myself up to be ready to fight and play as hard as I can. At the end of the day, I have a distinct athletic disadvantage compared to a lot of the guys out there. And so I want to make up for it by playing harder than anybody else on the court.”

Prieto shot 5 of 9 from the floor and played a season-high 26 minutes. His previous career bests were five points against Loyola Marymount earlier this season and four rebounds vs. Murray State in the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

“Harrison is always ready,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “He conditions himself, even though he hasn’t played, he does a lot of extra running. A lot of time he’s on the Green Team, preparing us for the other team. That just shows how much savvy he has, how intelligent he is. He’s been here for a while. He understands what we need.

“He stepped up and gave us great leadership. I can’t say enough of how proud I am of him.”

FSU played shorthanded and battled, forcing Wake to commit 26 turnovers. But it wasn’t enough as the half-court offense struggled for the majority of the game. The Seminoles haven’t lost four consecutive games since dropping five straight in February 2016.

Guard Anthony Polite (wrist) and center Naheem McLeod (hand) watching from the bench. Forward Malik Osborne (ankle) had surgery on Thursday but was not on the bench. Forward John Butler Jr. was held to eight minutes as he left the court for the locker room and later returned to the bench but did not re-enter the game.

Caleb Mills scored 15 points and Matthew Cleveland had 11 points and nine rebounds for FSU (13-9, 6-6 ACC), which led the ACC standings on Jan. 11 after a road win at Miami. But the injuries have added up and contributed to four straight losses.

Alondes Williams scored 23 points on 9 of 21 shooting and Jake LaRavia had 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting for Wake Forest (19-5, 9-4 ACC). LaRavia had 13 rebounds as Wake won the rebounding battle 45-38.

Prieto shot 3 of 6 in the first half while the rest of the Seminoles went 4 of 26.

FSU shot 22 of 67 (32.8 percent) from the floor and 4 of 19 (21.1 percent) from 3-point range. Mills shot 6 of 16 from the floor, while Cleveland shot 4 of 15.

Hamilton said he thought players had a “sense of urgency” but missed layups and open looks in the first half.

“I thought they were very anxious realizing that we were shorthanded,” Hamilton said. “I thought they put a lot of pressure on themselves to go out and perform very well. I thought they were a little tight in terms of finishing their plays.”

Wake shot 26 of 57 (45.6 percent) from the floor and 8 of 22 (36.4 percent) from 3-point range.

The Demon Deacons led for much of the game, pushing through an ugly first half and Damari Monsanto’s 3-pointer gave Wake a 49-38 lead with 11:58 to go. FSU cut the lead all the way to one, 57-56, on a Caleb Mills 3-pointer with 3:51 to go. But Wake never relinquished the lead.

Injury update

Butler Jr. sprained his ankle in Saturday’s game. “He tried to come out in warmups in the second half but it was too sore for him to finish the game,” Hamilton said.

FSU-Wake Forest box score

The FSU-Wake box score can be viewed here.

Up next: Pittsburgh at FSU

FSU plays host to Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 9 p.m. (ACC Network).

George McCloud jersey retirement

George McCloud had his No. 21 jersey retired at halftime of Saturday’s game. The Osceola will have more photos and thoughts from players at the FSU basketball reunion in the coming days.