Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fitting Ending for Seminoles

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fitting Ending for Seminoles

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, Times-Union sports writer

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A two-minute stretch in yesterday's Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinal proved the defining and deciding sequence for Florida State and first-year basketball coach Leonard Hamilton.

Trailing top-seeded Wake Forest 63-59 with 3:14 to play, the Seminoles made three consecutive defensive stops but came up empty, allowing the Demon Deacons to squeeze out a 69-61 victory.

"Every game we've played against them this year is reminiscent of the game we just played," said Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, whose Demon Deacons will meet North Carolina State in today's first semifinal game.

For the Seminoles (14-15), the loss mirrored a season of near misses. Their seventh loss of the season by eight points or less, including a 60-56 to the Deacs three weeks ago, doomed FSU's bid to become the first ninth-seed to upset a No. 1 seed and left them a victory shy of qualifying for the NIT.

In the game's decisive stretch, freshman Todd Galloway missed a driving layup, Tim Pickett bricked a 3-point attempt and Adam Waleskowski, who was in the game for his defense, missed an uncontested layup.

Wake Forest's Jamaal Levy answered with a short bank shot, but two Anthony Richardson free throws cut the margin to 65-61 with 51 seconds to play. Nate Johnson's steal of the ensuing inbounds pass gave FSU a last chance, but Pickett was hammered to the ground as he went in for a layup. No foul was called.

"I was trying to make a play," said Pickett, who scored a game-high 17 points but refused to elaborate on the pivotal play.

Hamilton offered a subtle jab on the no-call.

"Our inability to get to the foul line continues to plague us," Hamilton said. "I find it interesting that Tim can take 19 shots and never get fouled. That's got to be some kind of record."

The Seminoles' 11-for-11 performance from the free throw line was negated by Wake Forest's 18-for-23 effort. The Demon Deacons (24-4) dominated FSU, 43-22, on the glass en route to their seventh consecutive victory. …

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