January 6, 1999
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – No. 11 North Carolina didn’t let indoor winter
weather bother it too much Wednesday night.
Ademola Okulaja had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Brendan Haywood added 15
points and 11 rebounds in the Tar Heels’ 72-54 victory over Florida State in an
“It feels good in here, we should’ve played in here,” North Carolina coach
Bill Guthridge joked afterward in a heated meeting room several hundred feet
from the playing surface. “I’m proud of our team … the way the team hung in
there under adverse conditions.”
Because of the chilly surroundings, game conditions were remindful of an
outdoor pickup game. Fans attending the game bundled up in sweaters and jackets
as the courtside temperature was just 55 degrees at tipoff with the Leon County
Civic Center open in areas because of construction.
North Carolina also had to cancel its pregame shootaround as the playing
surface was covered with sawdust from the ongoing construction work.
But none of the distractions bothered Okulaja, who scored 15 points in the
second half to key North Carolina’s comeback.
“It was like running in a cold wind out there,” Okulaja said. “It was
like playing outside. (Ed) Cota had turnovers because the ball didn’t come
North Carolina (14-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) warmed up early in the
second half, outscoring the Seminoles 48-23 over the final 23 minutes of the
Meanwhile, Florida State (7-6, 1-1) was as frigid as the playing conditions
in the second half.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever played in a place as cool,” Florida State
coach Steve Robinson said.
Ron Hale led Florida State with 17 points, but was held to just five in the
second half and was the only Seminole in double figures.
Hale had seven points in a 12-0 run that gave the Seminoles a 31-24 lead
shortly before halftime.
Florida State shot just 36.5 percent, including 7-of-31 from 3-point range,
and was outrebounded 46-21. The Tar Heels made 23 of 31 free throws while
Florida State had just two attempts all night, making one.
“When we don’t finish it off, then they take it down and shoot until they
score,” Robinson said.
“We lived and died by the jump shots,” he added. “We got impatient. We
didn’t take good shots. We must understand it’s a 40-minute game.”
North Carolina has won four straight games and 13 of the last 15 against
Florida State. The Tar Heels handed Florida State its most lopsided loss in
school history a year ago, 103-55, in Chapel Hill.