RALEIGH, N.C. (seminoles.com) – Redshirt senior Malik Osborne scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half and Florida State outscored NC State 16-14 in the final five minutes to take an 83-81 win over NC State at the PNC Arena. Sophomore Cam’Ron Fletcher scored a career-high 14 points while pulling down a career-high six rebounds. Fletcher and freshman Matthew Cleveland made big plays in the final minutes of the game to help the Seminoles to their first ACC road win of the season.
Cleveland earned his first career double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Seminoles survived a 32-point performance by Dereon Seabron to gain the win. Florida State was playing its first game in 17 days, its longest in-season layoff since the 1955-56 season. After defeating Lipscomb 97-60 on Dec. 15 the Seminoles had their next three games either canceled or postponed.
Both teams shot over 50 percent. NC State made 12 3-pointers, six more than FSU. The Seminoles’ bench outscored NC State’s 35-9. FSU outrebounded the Wolfpack 37-29 and had five more off the offensive glass in a matchup of the top two offensive rebounding teams in the ACC.
Neither team led by more than seven points and there were 14 lead changes.
The Seminoles took a 79-75 lead on two made free throws by Osborne with 54 seconds left to play. NC State’s Terquavion Smith hit a 3-pointer to cut FSU’s lead to 79-78. Florida State’s Cleveland was fouled after an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to put the Seminoles up 80-78 with 11 seconds left to be played.
NC State then called timeout with 8.4 seconds remaining. Immediately following the timeout by the Wolfpack, Fletcher stole the inbounds pass meant for Seabron and was fouled. He made the first free throw and missed the second but NC State’s Jericole Hellems was called for a foul going for the rebound and Cleveland sank two more free throws to put the Seminoles up by an 83-78 margin.
Smith hit his seventh 3-pointer as the game ended to close the final gap.
Osborne has now scored in double figures in nine of the Seminoles’ 11 games and averages a career-high 12.5 points. He has scored in double figures in 32 career games.
Redshirt sophomore Caleb Mills and Cleveland scored 13 points apiece. Cleveland led the team in rebounds with 10, earning his first career double-double. The freshman shot five of 10 from the field and three of five from the line.
Mills has scored in double figures in five of the last six games and is averaging 12.3 points scored per game.
After a slow start, the Seminoles led 43-41 at the half. Florida State has led at the half in 10 out of their 11 games this season.
Sophomore Naheem McLeod scored a career-high tying six points on three of three shooting all in the first half.
Seven Seminoles scored at least six points this game (RayQuan Evans, Anthony Polite, Mills, Osborne, Fletcher, McLeod, and Cleveland) and five Seminoles shot at least one triple (Polite, Mills, Osborne, Butler, Fletcher).
Florida State recorded nine steals against the Wolfpack and continues to lead the ACC with 10 steals per game.
Along with Seabron’s 32 points and seven assists, Smith contributed 23 points for the Wolfpack.
Florida State continues ACC play on the road when they visit Wake Forest on Tuesday, January 4. The game tips off at 7pm ET.