Feb. 1, 2011
By Steve Stone
Assistant Sports Information Director
|Players of the Game|
It was another dominating home performance for the Seminole men’s basketball team, which used a 54-point scoring outburst in the second half to break away from Wake Forest, 85-61, on Tuesday evening at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Lately, FSU has been at its best when at home. The victory pushes the Seminoles (16-6, 6-2) to seven straight wins in Tallahassee, including an unblemished 4-0 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. FSU has not lost at home since Nov. 30.
“I thought our players executed a lot better tonight offensively and defensively,” said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. “I thought Okaro (White) stepped in for Terrance Shannon and did an admirable job. He responded much better in the second half. Ian Miller was confident in executing very well, and we’re trying to get Jon Kreft more involved and I liked his presence on the court.
“There were a lot of things we saw that we liked. Halfway through the season we are 6-2 and if there’s anything positive that I can take from the first half, we have a lot of room for improvement and I think we can be a better team than what we’ve showed to this point.”
Aside from its hot-shooting second half, FSU forced 24 Wake Forest turnovers, using 27 points off the Demon Deacon (8-14, 1-6) miscues to its advantage. Ten Seminoles made it into the scoring column, highlighted by five double-figure scorers in Deividas Dulkys (16), Bernard James (13), Michael Snaer (11), Ian Miller (11) and Derwin Kitchen (10).
FSU tied a season high with 10 3-pointers made, doing so for the fourth time this season. Dulkys led the Seminoles from long distance with four treys, helping propel FSU to its 51.4 percent shooting in the second half.
The Seminoles have now held 89 of their last 90 opponents to under 50 percent from the field. Wake Forest never developed any consistency on offense until late in the game, shooting 42.6 percent overall.
FSU put its smothering defensive style on display going into the second official timeout, forcing seven Wake Forest turnovers in just over eight minutes of action. In that span, the Seminoles corralled four steals and took twice as many shots as the Demon Deacons while leading 13-9. They entered halftime with a 31-19 lead.
Dulkys’ effort on the defensive end guided FSU to a 12-0 run, first coming through with a breakaway dunk off a steal that energized the crowd, and then another breakaway lay-in off another steal to push the Seminoles ahead 21-14.
J.T. Terrell stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer to cut Wake’s deficit to 26-17, but the Demon Deacons failed to score over the next 4:36 until a basket-and-foul by Tony Chennault stopped the drought.
Like many teams this season, Wake Forest employed an early zone defense against FSU. Although the Seminoles were only able to shoot 11 of 35 (31.4 percent) heading into halftime, they forced 15 Wake Forest turnovers and held the opposition to just 29.2 percent from the field (7 of 24). Chris Singleton led FSU with seven boards in 19 minutes of action in the game’s first 20 minutes, while three different Seminoles in James, Snaer and Dulkys had multiple steals.
Snaer led FSU with nine points on 4 of 9 shooting, while Dulkys came off the bench to spark the Seminoles in the early going with seven points. Tony Chennault was Wake’s primary scorer with five points on 2 of 4 shooting.
FSU continued to pound away in the second half, creating difficult shots for an undersized Wake Forest squad. Singleton gave FSU its first 20-point lead at 46-26 on a three-pointer from the corner with 14:38 remaining in the contest. Okaro White, making his first start of the season after Terrance Shannon was forced to sit with a bone bruise, later nailed another trey from the same corner to push the FSU lead to 58-33.
White’s triple marked FSU’s largest lead in an ACC game since the Seminoles built a 23-point lead against North Carolina on Feb. 24, 2010, a game in which they won 77-67.
A 3-pointer by Dulkys with 9:22 remaining marked his 136th career triple, moving him into seventh place on FSU’s all-time Top 10 list for 3-point field goals made.
FSU has now won 11 of its last 14 conference games dating back to last season. Its six conference wins also mark a school record of reaching at least six conference victories in six consecutive seasons.
The Seminoles begin a two-game conference road swing this Sunday at North Carolina at 2 p.m. The contest will be televised on FSN.