December 28, 2016 - by
Bacon, Rathan-Mayes Tally 23 in 88-72 ACC Win Over Demon Deacons
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –  Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes recorded 23 points each to lead 20th-ranked Florida State to an 88-72 victory over visiting Wake Forest in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Wednesday evening. The victory in the first league game for both teams improves the Seminoles to 13-1 on the season and marks the best start since the 1988-89 campaign, when Florida State also won 13 of its first 14 contests.
Rathan-Mayes also topped the 1,000-point mark for his career, scoring five of the first eight Seminole points, as he joined his father Tharon Mayes became the first father-son duo to score 1,000 career points at the same ACC program.
Rathan-Mayes and Bacon were the catalysts for a decisive 17-0 second half run for the Seminoles that spanned 4:24 of the contest. Trailing by five, 66-61, at the 8:57 mark, Rathan-Mayes kick started the Florida State offense into overdrive with a 3-pointer from the corner.
Teammate Jonathan Isaac knocked down a long distance trey and Bacon added a free throw to move the Seminoles in front by four, 70-66, in just under two minutes. A Wake Forest (9-4, 0-1) turnover allowed Jarquez Smith to get into the open court, where he converted a jumper, and followed Bacon with a layup to stretch the advantage to eight, 74-66, with 5:32 left in the frame.
Rathan-Mayes added a jumper to provide the Seminoles their first double-digit lead of the afternoon before Bacon capped off the offensive spurt with a jumper as Florida State led 78-66. Isaac and Rathan-Mayes contributed four points each down the stretch as the Seminoles topped the 80-point mark for the 12th time this season.
Bacon and Rathan-Mayes became the first set of Florida State teammates to top the 20-point mark in the same contest since Bacon and Malik Beasley achieved the feat on March 21, 2015 against Davidson. Bacon finished one point short of his season high after knocking down 8-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Rathan-Mayes established a season high in points by virtue of knocking down 7-of-10 from the floor, including two from beyond the arc, and hitting 7-of-10 at the free throw line.
Isaac narrowly missed his third career double-double, finishing with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. He reached double figures for the eighth time by hitting 4-of-11 from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers, and was a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
Freshman CJ Walker also topped the double-digit plateau as he tied his season-high in points (13) after hitting 4-of-8 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Florida State overcame a tough shooting first half, where the Seminoles managed just 12-of-29 (41.4%) from the floor, to hit 16-of-26 (61.5%) from the field and 14-of-17 (82.4%) at the free throw line in the second half. FSU’s offense was an effective 28-of-55 (50.9%) from the floor as it drained 9-of-25 (36%) from 3-point range.
The Seminoles converted at least 20 free throws for the sixth time this season as they finished 23-of-31 (74.2%) at the stripe. Led by Isaac’s nine rebounds, Florida State finished with a 35-31 edge on the glass, resulting in 11 second chance points and 28 points in the paint.
Rathan-Mayes and Bacon provided a bulk of the Florida State offense in the opening frame, combining for 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor that included a pair of 3-pointers.
Wake Forest used five points from Dino Mitoglou to establish a 16-8 advantage just over four minutes into the contest. The Seminoles began their rally with a dunk by Christ Koumadje peppered in a series of 3-pointers from Isaac and Walker, while turning up their defensive pressure, to forge ahead 21-19 at the 11:08 mark.
The Demon Deacons converted a pair of long distance conversions from Mitchell Wilbekin and Brandon Childress and capitalized on five points from Bryant Crawford to regain the lead 31-24 with 8:14 left in the frame.
Rathan-Mayes ended the scoring drought for Florida State, scoring four unanswered, as he and Bacon combined for 12 of the next 15 points to provide the Seminoles with a 39-38 lead with 2:09 remaining in the first. Childress capped off first half scoring with a pair of free throws as Wake Forest took a one-point lead into the half.
The Seminoles return to action on Saturday, Dec. 31, when they head to Virginia for their first ACC road clash of the 2016-17 campaign. Florida State returns to the Donald L. Tucker Center in January for a pair of games against Virginia Tech (Jan. 7) and Duke (Jan. 10).
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