February 6, 2016 - by
Noles Defeat Deacs As Bookert Hits Career Milestone
Florida State earned its fourth straight conference victory Saturday after a 91 –71 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. 
 
It was a game of runs for much of the early portion of the contest, but the Seminoles (16-7, 6-5) pulled away from the Demon Deacons (10-13, 1-10) and cruised to a double-digit victory. The game marks the first time Florida State has reeled off four consecutive ACC wins since 2012.
 
Malik Beasley led the Seminoles with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting, continuing his double-digit scoring streak. Guards Montay Brandon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes each threw in 13 points. All five Seminole starters finished in double figures as the team shot 50 percent from the floor, 42 percent from 3-point range. 
 
Just over seven minutes into the game, Devon Bookert connected on a 3-point attempt that saw him become a member of the 1,000 career point club. Bookert finished with nine points, all from beyond the arc. 
 
The turning point came at the 10-minute mark of the second half, as guard Benji Bell came off the bench and hit two quick three-pointers to rejuvenate the Seminole offense and open up a 10-point lead. After a Wake Forest basket, Bell found Beasley alone in the corner to put the Noles up 66-55, their largest lead of the game at the time. 
 
Bell was the catalyst the Seminoles needed to put the game away. While he finished with just nine points and two assists, he opened things up for the offense at critical moments and gave the Noles a lead that they would hold for good. 
 
As the Seminoles pulled away, it was the defense that sealed the victory. Wake Forest forward Devin Thomas finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and was the focus of the game for the Seminoles. 
Noles Defeat Deacs As Bookert Hits Career Milestone
“We needed all five guys to stop Thomas. We executed our game plan very well,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. 
 
The contest was heated in the first half, as neither team led by more than three in the first half until the Demon Deacons opened a two-possession lead with 3:50 to go in the opening period. 
 
With over a minute left in the half, the Seminoles took the lead when Beasley took a missed Wake Forest shot the length of the court and laid it up in transition to put the Noles up, 34-33. Florida State went on an 8-0 run to end the first half to enter the break with a 37-33 advantage. 
 
“We got the stops we needed and led to transition buckets,” Hamilton said. “We are at our best running.”
 
The Noles were able to force 13 Demon Deacon turnovers, and scored 14 points off of those turnovers. 
 
Both teams were efficient as the Seminoles (44 percent from the floor) and Wake (42 percent) traded shot-for-shot in the first half. However, Wake Forest finished at just 35 percent shooting as the Seminole defense hunkered down. 
 
Wake Forest’s Cornelius Hudson came off the bench to lead his team with a game-high 17 points. Codi Miller-McIntyre finished with 12 points, four rebounds and seven assists. 
 
Bacon finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Center Boris Bojanovsky added 11 points, seven boards and a block. 
 
Next week, the Seminoles head north to take on the Syracuse Orange on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in a primetime matchup on ESPN.
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