No. 20 Florida State shakes Wake Forest in ACC opener

The Seminoles held off a pesky Demon Deacons squad.

Glenn Beil—X02835
Dec 28

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — No. 20 Florida State and Wake Forest kicked off ACC play on Wednesday night with a furious back-and-forth duel at Donald L. Tucker Center before the Seminoles pulled away late and prevailed 88-72.Florida State (13-1) has now won nine games in a row, marking only the second time the program has had such a streak in head coach Leonard Hamilton’s 15 seasons, and is 10-0 at home this season.The Seminoles, who are also tied for the best 14-game start since the 1988-89 season, were paced by guards Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes with 23 points each. Rathan-Mayes added seven rebounds and three steals.Wake Forest (9-4) was led by guards Keyshawn Woods and Bryant Crawford with 16 points each. Crawford added four rebounds and three assists, but his seven turnovers proved costly. WakeForest had 16 turnovers as a team.The Demon Deacons also suffered a big blow early in the first half when 7-foot-1 center Doral Moore hobbled to the sideline with an apparent leg injury and did not return.Florida State guard C.J. Walker added 13 points off the bench thanks to 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point rang. The Seminoles also got 12 points and nine rebounds from freshman forward Jonathan Isaac.After trailing for much of the first half and part of the second half, Florida State used a mammoth 17-0 run to put the game away and open ACC play 1-0 while defeating Wake Forest for the fifth straight time at home.Wake Forest has now lost every ACC road opener since the 2006-07 season.After a furious first-half pace, both teams went scoreless for the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half until Bacon snapped the drought with an and-one and briefly gave Florida State a two-point lead.Wake quickly regained the advantage and was ahead 66-61 with 8:57 remaining in the game, but the Seminoles went on an 9-0 run to grab a 70-66 edge, highlighted by a Bacon breakaway bucket and a 3-pointer by Isaac that rattled around before falling.But the Seminoles weren’t done.That run was eventually extended to 17-0, giving Florida State a 78-66 lead — their largest of the game at that point — with 5:12 left.Woods snapped the five-plus-minute scoreless streak by the Demon Deacons with a layup with under four minutes to play.But by then it was too late.Rathan-Mayes came into the game with 996 career points and joined the Seminoles’ 1,000-point club just five minutes in on a breakaway layup for his 1,000th and 1,001st points.Rathan-Mayes became the 46th player in program history to reach the milestone, joining Tharon Mayes, who played for the Seminoles from 1998 to 1990, as the first father-son duo in ACC history to both score 1,000.NOTES: Florida State now leads the series 25-24. … Florida State came into Wednesday’s game ranked No. 20 in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ polls … The ACC has the most teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll with six – No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Louisville, No. 9 North Carolina, No. 12 Virginia, No. 20 Florida State and No. 24 Notre Dame.Reuters/The Sports Xchange contributed to this report.