Feb. 8, 2003
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – David Noel stole the ball and made the game-winning
free throw with 5.6 seconds left as North Carolina snapped its five-game losing
streak with a 61-60 victory over Florida State on Saturday.
Jawad Williams scored 20 points and Noel added 11 as the Tar Heels (12-10,
3-6) moved out of the ACC basement while picking up their 500th ACC win
Matt Doherty improved to 12-4 in his North Carolina career in games decided
by five points or less.
The Seminoles (11-9, 2-7), who upset Duke on Sunday, lost their 13th
straight ACC road game.
Florida State, which lost to the Tar Heels 69-48 at home on Dec. 22, led
57-53 with 4:19 left on a basket by Anthony Richardson, who had 17 points. But
the Tar Heels fought back down the stretch from the foul line and Williams tied
the score at 60-60 with one of two free throws with 29.9 seconds left.
The Seminoles called a time out to set up the final play for a possible win
in the Smith Center, but Richardson had the ball stolen by Noel at the top of
the key. Noel was fouled as he raced down the court for a possible layup.
The North Carolina freshman made the first free throw to break the tie, then
missed the second.
Florida State’s final chance at victory ended when Nate Johnson’s
desperation 35-footer at the buzzer was short.
Two of the ACC’s top scorers had poor days. Florida State’s Tim Pickett, who
came in averaging 18 points a game, was held to a season-low eight as he
battled foul trouble.
Meanwhile, Rashad McCants, coming off a season-low two points at Duke on
Wednesday night and still nursing a sore back, was 0-for-6 in the opening 20
minutes and finished without any points. McCants sat out the final 9:39.
With Pickett playing just 20 minutes, the Seminoles got a huge lift from
Benson Callier, who had a season-high 13 points. Benson had scored just seven
points in ACC play before Saturday.
North Carolina came out gunning from the outside, making 6-of-9 3-pointers
in the first 10 minutes to build leads of 10 and 14 points before missing 12 of
its final 14 shots.
The Seminoles countered with a 10-0 run over a 2?-minute span to get back
into it. A slam by Callier right before the half pulled Florida State to 31-29
at the break despite 11 turnovers.
The biggest lead of the second half was eight by North Carolina.