January 22, 2004 - by
Seminoles Knock Off No. 7 Tar Heels In OT, 90-81

Jan 22, 2004

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – North Carolina coach Roy Williams was worried that points were coming too easily against Florida State.

He was right.

The Seminoles erased a 24-point deficit and stunned the Tar Heels 90-81 in overtime Thursday night, ending a four-game losing streak.

Florida State seemed completely overmatched as North Carolina’s accurate shooting helped build a 42-18 lead with just more than five minutes left in the first half.

“It was fools’ gold for us, making all the jump shots and thinking it was going to be easy,” Williams said.

Tim Pickett scored six of his 30 points in overtime for Florida State, which scored the first 11 points of the extra period.

Seminoles reserve point guard Todd Galloway tied it on a 3-pointer from the corner with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation, tying the game for the first time since the opening tip.

Galloway’s clutch shot to even it at 78 was set up when Florida State’s Alexander Johnson blocked a shot by Sean May.

“I was late getting to him,” Johnson said. “He kind of laid it out there for me and I just went and got it.”

Rashad McCants and Melvin Scott each hit four 3-pointers in the first half for North Carolina. They keyed a 21-0 run that gave the Tar Heels their big early lead.

The Seminoles (13-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) scrambled back to trail 49-35 at halftime on a basket by Galloway, who raced the length of the court and was going up for a layup when the red light came on the backboard.

The basket was ruled good and later became an important two points.

“This is a very significant win for our team because North Carolina represents the tradition in basketball we’re trying to get to,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We’re the kind of team, in order to be successful, we have to be playing all out.”

Al Thornton goes up for a first-half shot as North Carolina’s Sean May defends.

Florida State made two big runs in the second half.

The Seminoles closed to 53-43 early in the half, but North Carolina built an 18-point lead, 67-49, with 12:33 left.

Then Pickett went to work, driving to the basket often and getting to the foul line. He made 11 of 13 free throws and led the Seminoles with nine rebounds.

Pickett, who had just eight points at halftime, scored 13 in the final 11:22 of regulation to lead the comeback. Johnson, who started overtime with a basket, added 15 points.

Riding the momentum of a stunning rally, the Seminoles quickly took control in overtime. McCants hit a 3 with 20.4 seconds remaining for North Carolina’s only points in the extra session.

When the final buzzer sounded, fans poured onto the court in celebration.

North Carolina (11-4, 1-3) shot 10-of-15 from 3-point range in the first half, but just 1-of-9 in overtime, spoiling Williams’ first visit to Florida State.

McCants led five Tar Heels in double figures with 26 points. Jawad Williams added 15 and Scott 14, but none in the second half.

May grabbed 10 rebounds, although Florida State had a 40-31 edge in that category.

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