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Wilkes scores 19, FSU survives late ND charge

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Florida State connected on 12 of 18 3-pointers on Saturday. The Seminoles needed all of them to hold off Notre Dame’s late charge.

Wyatt Wilkes came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points as Florida State held on for an 85-84 win over Notre Dame on Saturday night, the Seminoles’ 10th straight victory.

The redshirt sophomore drilled 5 of 6 shots from 3-point range and easily surpassed his prior career high of 14 points. Wilkes played nearly 19 minutes, seeing more playing time after forward Patrick Williams (toe) missed the game.

“That’s kind of the strength of our team,” guard Trent Forrest said. “You never know who can come in and give us that spark. Tonight it was Wyatt. They were leaving him open. And he’s a shooter. That’s target practice for him. He was shooting with confidence.

Wilkes’ hard work in practice translated into a pressure-packed game situation. His 3-pointers as well as those from Anthony Polite (3 of 5) and M.J. Walker (2 of 3) helped put the Seminoles in front by double figures for much of the second half.

“Wyatt Wilkes gave us a tremendous lift,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “He’s showing his potential.”

But Florida State missed its last nine shots from the floor, leaving the door open just enough for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish had a few chances in the final moments, including Dane Goodwin’s desperation 3-pointer that was short at the buzzer.

Forrest and RaiQuan Gray each scored 13 points for Florida State (17-2, 7-1 ACC), which has also won 10 consecutive home games in 2019-20 and 19 straight victories at the Donald L. Tucker Center dating back to last season.

Prentiss Hubb scored 24 points, knocking down 5 of 11 3-pointers, and John Mooney scored 16 points for Notre Dame (11-8, 2-6). But Mooney pulled down just five rebounds, halting his streak of double-doubles at 12 games.

Notre Dame was able to get to the free-throw line with frequency, making shot 22 of 27 (81.5 percent) from the free-throw line. Juwan Durham, Mooney, Hubb and Goodwin all missed shots in the final 16 seconds.

Balsa Koprivica returned after missing four games due to injury. The freshman center had six points and six rebounds.

Notre Dame led by 11 points just minutes into the game, but Florida State went on an 18-0 run – helped by Wilkes’ and Walker’s 3-pointers – to take a 47-37 lead at the half.

TUCK TALKING POINTS

The Seminoles had a 40-12 bench advantage and forced Notre Dame into 15 turnovers. The Fighting Irish, who had just 12 assists, came into the game as the nation’s leader in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.86.

Florida State’s depth again prevailed. Notre Dame used just seven players. And T.J. Gibbs fouled out with four minutes to go.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey was critical of some of the crew’s calls, especially late in the game. He questioned a traveling call and a technical on the Notre Dame bench. “We’re treated by the officials like we haven’t brought football as a full member, but yet we get a full share of the ACC Network TV,” Brey said. “Are you kidding me? … I’m frustrated, man. … You got to be kidding me, man. We’re in the league, too. C’mon.” Brey walked off the interview podium and continued to criticize the officials, specifically mentioning referee John Gaffney.

FORREST FOR 1,000

Florida State’s Trent Forrest scored his 1,000th point on a dunk in the first half. The senior guard is the 48th player in Seminoles history to surpass the milestone.

“All of my hard work is starting to pay off,” Forrest said. “I’m just glad to say that I accomplished it.”

UP NEXT

Florida State plays at Virginia on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Comments

  1. Dan Densmore Reply

    That was a crazy crowd. Awesome atmosphere. Fun game for my 11-year old daughter and 81-year old dad to watch. I’m sure the coaches will watch the last few minutes when they nearly gave it away.

    • Jerry Kutz Reply

      A lot of times when a team “blows a lead” its because they don’t have good but possessions but what was weird to me about the last few minutes of this game was how many times FSU actually had good offensive possessions, got good looks, but the ball wouldn’t fall.
      I’m sure they will work on those in-bound passes. They’ll see that again.

  2. Dan Densmore Reply

    59-3 at home last five years that is EPIC

    • Jerry Kutz Reply

      And think about the teams FSU has defeated in those 59 home games.

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