Feb. 10, 2001
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Wake Forest really needed a win.
The 19th-ranked Deamon Deacons had lost four of five games and were in
danger of dropping out of the top the Top 25.
Then they won on the road Saturday, getting a balanced scoring attack and
strong play off the bench by Robert O’Kelley beat Florida State 71-65.
“Does it turn the corner?” Wake Forest coach Dave Odom asked. “We’ll see
about that. I think the optimal word we should try to find is consistency.”
O’Kelley scored 18 points and Josh Howard made a key 3-point shot late to
spark the Wake Forest victory.
Wake Forest (16-7, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) took a 45-30 lead early in
the second half, but wound up in a battle. Florida State came within three
points on several occasions, the final time at 64-61 on two free throws by Mike
Mathews with 3:56 left.
“You’ve got to give Wake credit,” Florida State coach Steve Robinson said.
“When we did make a run at them, they did respond.”
Howard tried just one 3-point shot, but made it count, hitting a basket with
3:08 left that gave Wake Forest a bit of breathing space at 67-61.
“Josh Howard’s three against their zone was absolutely huge,’ Odom said.
“We’re accustomed to him doing that kind of thing.”
The Seminoles (6-17, 1-9) had climbed back into the game with a 10-0 run,
pulling within 45-40, then got within three for the first time at 54-51 on a
free throw by Nigel Dixon.
Florida State, which played without scoring leader Monty Cummings, who had
the flu, was led in scoring by Mathews’ 15 points. The 6-10 first-year center
hit all six field goal tries.
But the rest of the Seminoles were only 16 of 45 with point guard Delvon
Arrington suffering through a 1-for-12 shooting day.
O’Kelley, who has not started the past four games for the slumping Demon
Deacons, hit 6-of-10 shots, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, in 26 minutes.
“Robert certainly had a very, very good day for him and for us,” Odom
said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Howard and Darius Songaila each added 13 points while Josh Shoemaker made 5
of 6 shots and finished with 12 for the Demon Deacons, who shot 48.1 percent
from the field and hit 16-of-18 free throws.
Junior guard Craig Dawson, who had a career high 29 points earlier in the
week against top-ranked North Carolina, was held to five points against the
Michael Joiner and Adrian Crawford each scored 11 points for Florida State,
while Andrew Wilson had 10.