TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – North Carolina’s RJ Davis scored a game-high 19 points on seven made field goals and two free throws to lead the Tar Heels to a 77-66 victory over the Seminoles at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Davis led four Tar Heels in double figure scoring, Leaky Black (18 points), Caleb Love (16 points), and Pete Nance (15 points) to earn their 11th ACC victory of the season.
Junior Caleb Mills led Florida State with 19 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Matthew Cleveland came within one rebound of his 12th double-double of the season as he totaled 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Tar Heels took an early 7-2 lead in the opening minutes of the first half. The Seminoles quickly scored back-to-back points to narrow the scoring gap to 7-6.
Although North Carolina was off to a hot start with four of five field goals made in the first six minutes, the next four minutes of the half consisted of three turnovers, along with a prolonged scoring drought for the Tar Heels. Florida State took this opportunity to tie the score 12-12 with a made 3-pointer from Chandler Jackson.
North Carolina made three field goals within a minute and a half to score nine points versus the Seminoles’ zero. This gave the Tar Heels a 10-point lead with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. Scoring six points in 37 seconds, North Carolina’s 11-0 scoring run gave them their biggest lead of the game, 43-25, to lead going into intermission.
The Seminoles refused to let the first half define them, scoring 41 points in the second half versus the Tar Heels’ 34 points. The matchup came down to the final minutes of the game, as Florida State scored 14 points over a three-minute period to narrow North Carolina’s lead to only four points.
From that point on, North Carolina made three of their last three field goals, along with seven made free throws, to finalize the last two minutes of the game with a 13-6 scoring run.
Jalen Warley earned a monumental career mark against the Tar Heels with 100 assists in a season, totaling two assists against North Carolina to join teammate Caleb Mills who has been credited with 105 assists in the 2022-23 season.
Darin Green Jr. moved into sole possession of the third-highest single-season total in school history for 3-pointers, totaling 86 in his first season as a Seminole. He needs just four more made 3-pointers to become the third player in school history with 90 or more made 3-point shots in a season.
Mills led the Seminoles with 10 points on four made field goals and two free throws in the first half. Florida State scored 18 points off the bench, as compared to North Carolina’s three points.
The Seminoles had another momentum-changing second half, scoring six points in the opening seconds to narrow the score to 43-31.
With nine points combined from Cam Corhen, Green Jr., Mills, and Baba Miller, Florida State went on a 9-2 scoring run over the Tar Heels to narrow the score to 64-55 with four minutes remaining in the second half.
Jalen Warley added three points to the Seminoles score, making three of four free throws, in addition to a made layup from De’Ante Green that slimmed the Tar Heels lead to only four points with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
North Carolina scored 13 points in the final two minutes of the game to finalize the score 77-66.
The Seminoles’ defense limited Tar Heel All-American Armando Bacot to one point and eight rebounds. His only point of the game came on a free throw with 26 seconds remaining in the contest. Bacot entered the game averaging 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in the Tar Heels’ first 29 games of the season.
Florida State will travel next to Blacksburg, Virginia on Saturday, March 4th to face off against Virginia Tech in their final game of the regular season. The game will be televised on ESPN2 with tip off at 4pm.