The dramatics were all but over just a few minutes after the opening tip.
Ian Miller scored 17 in the Seminoles' win.
Less than 48 hours after the No. 21 Florida State men's basketball team required a miraculous comeback to defeat Virginia Tech, the Seminoles had no trouble dispatching North Carolina State at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
Florida State improved to 19-7, 10-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and reach the 10-win mark in the ACC for the fourth consecutive season. The Seminoles have now beaten each of the four ACC schools from the state of North Carolina for the first time in school history, and will be no worse than tied for first place in the league when they host No. 4 Duke Thursday at 7 p.m.
“It's a very important game for us to keep pace with Duke and Carolina,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “You don't want to overemphasize that … but we're kind of in unchartered waters right now.”
Quality depth has been a perpetual theme for Florida State this season, and that depth paid off in a big way Saturday, as both the Seminoles and Wolfpack played tight, hotly-contested games Thursday night and had little time to prepare for each other.
Eleven Seminoles played at least seven minutes – and all of them contributed on the scoreboard. FSU got 37 points from its bench that, in addition to Miller's 17, included 10 from Okaro White and two points each for freshmen Terry Whisnant and Antwan Space.
FSU had six players log at least 20 minutes, but no one reached 30. N.C. State, by contrast, featured only a seven-man rotation and was forced to play four starters for at least 33 minutes.
“That's a sign that a team's growing up, maturing,” Hamilton said of FSU's depth. “You like to see that this time of year because you never know when a guy might get in foul trouble or turn an ankle.”
Michael Snaer (10 points) joined Miller, James and White in double figures for the Seminoles, who led 37-26 at halftime and stayed ahead by double digits for the entire second half.
FSU shot 27-of-55 from the field (49.1 percent) percent and – after finishing 1-of-8 at the free throw line against Virginia Tech – turned in an excellent 18-of-21 performance at the line on Saturday. That figure included a nice 6-for-6 effort from James, who has notoriously struggled with free throws this season.
“We had a little more quality depth in the inside position,” Hamilton said. “I thought it paid of for us today.”
Forward C.J. Leslie scored 21 for the Wolfpack, but the Seminoles did a nice job defending against N.C. State's shooters. Three-point specialist Scott Wood finished just 1-of-10 from the field, and the Wolfpack were held to an abysmal 29.3 shooting percentage – by far their worst of the season.
“I thought that on the defensive end, we came pretty close to executing our defensive system fairly well,” Hamilton said. “...On the defensive end, I thought we did a good job of contesting shots.”
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