March 13, 2008
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Jason Rich scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half Thursday to lead Florida State past Wake Forest 70-60 in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Ralph Mims added 16 points for the ninth-seeded Seminoles (19-13), who shot 45 percent to win their league tournament opener for the second straight year. Once again, their reward is a quarterfinal matchup with top-seeded North Carolina on Friday.
Jeff Teague scored 15 points to lead Wake Forest (17-13), which trailed almost the entire way after winning both regular-season meetings by an average of 12.5 points.
Rich almost single-handedly put the game away by scoring 15 of Florida State’s 17 points – including 10 straight – during one 4 1/2 minute stretch midway through the second half.
David Weaver added 12 points and James Johnson had 10 for Wake Forest, which had won its previous three ACC tournament meetings with the Seminoles. The loss bounced the Demon Deacons from its ACC opener for the first time since 2005, when star point guard Chris Paul sat out with a suspension.
Wake Forest, a 36 percent shooting team from 3-point range, was held to 3-for-17 from beyond the arc. Weaver, a 6-foot-10 backup center, knocked down two 3s for just the second and third of his career.
Florida State raced out to a 13-point lead in the first half, making it 28-15 during a 17-4 run that was capped by Douglas’ 3-pointer from the key with 6:10 left before the break. The Seminoles soon went cold, making only one more field goal in the half – Uche Echefu’s stickback with 1:41 left – to allow the Demon Deacons to temporarily creep back into the game.