FSU defeats UNC, 82-75, behind Walker, team-wide effort

Florida State's Balsa Koprivica drives to the basket.
Florida State's Balsa Koprivica drives to the basket.(Miguel A. Olivella Jr. | Florida State Athletics)
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 2:18 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Sports) - Florida State defeated North Carolina, 82-75, on Saturday afternoon at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles (7-2, 3-1 ACC) got 21 points from guard M.J. Walker. He led five in double figures.

The Tar Heels (8-5, 3-3 ACC) are the 20th consecutive ACC foe to lose to the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

Leonard Hamilton’s team earned their third consecutive home victory over UNC on Saturday. FSU defeated North Carolina, 81-80, on January 3, 2018 and 65-59 on February 3, 2020. The Tar Heels hold a 50-15 advantage all-time against FSU. Hamilton is 7-19 all-time against UNC (6-18 at FSU, 0-1 at Miami).

Florida State led North Carolina, 41-37, at the half behind 14 points from M.J. Walker. The Seminoles were 13-for-24 (54.2%) from the floor and 4-for-11 (36.4%) from deep in the opening half. They got to the line and made it count, going 11-for-11 (100%) at the line. The Tar Heels, who got eight first-half points from Kerwin Walton, were 14-for-31 (45.2%) from the field and 5-for-13 (36.5%) from the perimeter in the first 20 minutes. They went 4-for-5 (80%) at the line. The boards were even at 14 rebounds each. FSU committed eight first half turnovers, while the Tar Heels gave it away six times.

For the second consecutive game, FSU’s starting five consisted of RayQuan Evans, Anthony Polite, M.J. Walker, RaiQuan Gray and Balsa Koprivica. It marked the ninth consecutive start this season for all players, with the exception of Evans, who started his second consecutive game.

Freshman guard Scottie Barnes was unavailable for FSU on Saturday afternoon, as he continued to deal with a ‘turned’ ankle suffered against NC State on Wednesday evening.

FSU travels to face No. 16 Louisville on Monday at 7 p.m. (ESPN). The Cardinals are 9-1 on the season, including 4-0 in ACC play. They face Miami on Saturday evening.

More to come.

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