Jan. 20, 2001
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There’s no question about who the go-to guy is at
Joseph Forte scored a dozen points in a four-minute span late in the game to
lead sixth-ranked North Carolina to an 80-70 victory over Florida State on
The sophomore’s timely scoring prevented what could have been an
embarrassing loss to a team struggling to win its first Atlantic Coast
“He stepped up when they had to have somebody make plays,” Florida State
coach Steve Robinson said. “He did what he had to do to help their team win.”
The Seminoles (5-13, 0-5 ACC) had pulled to 60-57 with 7:42 left on a steal
and breakaway layup by point guard Delvon Arrington.
That’s when Forte took over.
The slender wing player scored his team’s next 12 points, including a pair
of 3-point shots, and put the Tar Heels ahead 72-61 with 3:08 left after
breaking loose on the base line for a dunk.
“If the game is close, my teammates try and get me the ball and let me
score,” said Forte, who missed just one shot during his decisive burst and
finished with 28 points.
“The guys were getting a little tight when the game got close. I hit a 3
and it got us a little more relaxed.”
Forte went 10-of-15 from the field overall, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers.
First-year North Carolina coach Matt Doherty knew to whom he needed to turn
once the game tightened.
“Forte should take over,” Doherty said. “He is a mentally tough kid.”
North Carolina (15-2, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) jumped ahead 33-13 on
its way to leading 49-30 at halftime, but had to survive a second-half charge
by the Seminoles.
Kris Lang added 11 points and Jason Capel 10 for the Tar Heels, who shot
48.2 percent for the game.
Center Brendan Haywood had seven blocked shots in the game to become North
Carolina’s career leader in that category with 246, one more than Sam Perkins,
Doherty’s teammate in the 1980s,
Arrington, who scored a career-high 23 points Tuesday against Virginia, led
the Seminoles with 18 points to go along with a game-high five assists.
Monte Cummings, who sparked Florida State’s second-half comeback along with
Arrington, added 14 points. Adrian Crawford had 13, and Michael Joiner 10.
Florida State’s 375-pound center, Nigel Dixon, contributed a game-high 10
rebounds in 19 minutes, but made just three of 14 shots and finished with six
The Seminoles will try to get that elusive first conference win Thursday at
home against North Carolina State (9-6, 1-3).
“I just keep telling ’em, you can’t give in,” Robinson said. “Just keep