By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -Tim Pickett’s second strong finish made some history for Florida State.
The Seminoles, with Pickett again having a big second half, beat No. 10 Wake Forest 75-70 on Sunday, giving them consecutive wins over Top Ten teams for the first time in school history.
He scored all of his 18 points after halftime Sunday and Florida State made six straight free throws over the final 45 seconds to hand the Demon Deacons’ their fourth straight loss.
Last Thursday, Pickett scored 22 points after halftime to spark the Seminoles to a 90-81 overtime victory over No. 7 North Carolina.
Up next is No. 1 Duke on Thursday.
“In all my years of coaching I’ve never been part of a scenario where your team is on the rise and you play the 10th, the seventh, then have a chance to go play the No. 1-ranked team,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “You have to be realistic where we are. We’re still a team that’s developing, that’s trying to move our program to a program of significance in the ACC as well as on a national basis.”
Wake Forest (11-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), has reached those levels, but the Demon Deacons added a loss to the list that included Texas, Duke and Georgia Tech.
“What we’re doing … works for 39 minutes,” Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. “It would be nice if it worked for 40.
“We’ve had a good two months and a bad two weeks,” Prosser said. “We can’t languish in it.”
Pickett’s 3-pointer with 1:17 left pulled Florida State (14-5, 3-3) within 70-69 and his two free throws with 2 seconds left clinched it.
“One of our goals was not to let Pickett beat us,” Prosser said. “He obviously made several big shots.”
Todd Galloway’s first points of the game, two free throws with 45 seconds remaining, gave the Seminoles their first lead of the second half at 71-70.
In a game similar to Thursday’s win, the Seminoles scored the final eight points Sunday with Pickett doing much of the damage.
“I don’t get down on myself,” said Pickett, who sat most of the first half after picking up an early second foul. “I just cheered my teammates on.”
Nate Johnson and Adam Waleskowski kept Florida State in the game during the first half, combining for 26 of the team’s 36 points as Pickett went scoreless. Johnson hit all four of his 3-point attempts while Waleskowski contributed 12 points and five rebounds.
“Everything was falling,” Walkeskowski said. “I was picking up some garbage baskets.”
Johnson led all scorers with 19 points while Waleskowski finished with a career-high 16 points and eight rebounds.
“It was one of those games when the first couple go down and you feel like you can’t miss,” Johnson said.
Freshman Chris Paul led Wake Forest with 17 points, while Eric Williams added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Kyle Visser, who fouled out in the final minute with 12 points, had scored Wake Forest’s final basket with on a tip-in with 4:23 left.
“We had to put two guys on him to slow him up a little bit,” Hamilton said of Paul. “I’m not real sure any one guy could contain a guy with that kind of speed and quickness.”
The Demon Deacons led by as many as eight points on three occasions in the second half, the last time at 63-55 with 9:16 left on a Williams’ free throw.
Waleskowski and Pickett each added two free throws in the final 18 seconds to seal the win.