February 27, 2008 - by
Rich Leads FSU Past North Carolina State, 72-62

Feb. 27, 2008

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)Jason Rich scored 21 points Wednesday night to help Florida State beat North Carolina State 72-62.

Toney Douglas added 20 points despite playing through a tough shooting start for the Seminoles, who won their third straight league game despite nearly blowing a 19-point first-half lead. Ralph Mims added 12 points, including a 3-pointer that capped a 10-0 run that gave Florida State (17-12, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) some needed breathing room in the final 5 minutes.

Trevor Ferguson had a career-high 17 points to lead the Wolfpack, who continued their late-season freefall. N.C. State (15-13, 4-10) has lost six straight games to slip to the bottom of the league standings after being picked in the preseason to finish third.

Florida State looked ready to extend its modest league winning streak, scoring the first 12 points en route to a 25-6 lead with about 7 1/2 minutes left before halftime. The Seminoles would never relinquish that lead, though the Wolfpack managed to pull to within two points in the second half.

The Seminoles’ backcourt of Rich and Douglas kept Florida State in control. Rich finished 7-for-16 from the field. Meanwhile, Douglas missed 11 of his first 13 shots before running off 11 points over a 5-minute span–including a pair of 3-pointers–that gave the Seminoles a 52-44 lead with 9:39 left that kept Wolfpack playing to catch-up.

When N.C. State managed to pull to within three, the Seminoles ended it with the 10-point spurt that began with Ryan Reid’s three-point play. Rich came through with two free throws followed by a dunk off his own steal before Mims knocked down a 3 to make it 62-49 with 4:42 left.

N.C. State got no closer than seven points from there.

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