By: Chris Nee | Noles247
January 8, 2020
Florida State's Dominik Olejniczak (15) blocks Wake Forest's Brandon Childress (0) shot in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Lynn Hey)
No. 10 Florida State overcame a slow start to the second half to win by double-digits, 78-68, against Wake Forest at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Wednesday evening.
The Seminoles (14-2, 4-1 ACC) led the Demon Deacons (8-6, 1-3 ACC), 41-34, at the half. FSU had to battle through foul issues - 14 team fouls, including six players with two each in the opening half - that led to 18 points at the free throw line for Wake Forest in the opening 20 minutes.
FSU opened the second half with a dud, being outscored by Wake Forest 11-0 in the opening three minutes, falling behind by four. That would be the largest deficit for the Seminoles on the evening. FSU burned a timeout at that point.
“They were doing a very good job of their game plan,” Hamilton said of the timeout. “We were having a hard time stopping their penetration. ... I thought our guys showed a lot of patience. We stayed focused.”
FSU would separate themselves down the stretch, going ahead by as many as 13 points, to come away with the road victory.
Devin Vassell led the Seminoles with 17 points. M.J. Walker added 15 points and Trent Forrest had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Harrison Prieto, who played early due to foul trouble, finished with a career-high four points.
On the evening, FSU was 27-for-62 (43.5%) from the floor, but just 6-foot-23 (26.1%) from the perimeter. The Seminoles went 18-for-24 (75%) at the line. The Seminoles had 20 fast-break points. FSU had 10 assists and 10 turnovers.
The Demon Deacons, who were led by 20 points from Brandon Childress, were 19-for-48 (39.6%) from the floor, 6-for-18 (33.3%) from deep and 24-for-32 (75.0%) from the line. Wake Forest had seven assists and 17 turnovers. FSU, who finished with 10 steals, scored 19 points off of those 17 turnovers by their opponent.
Each team had 34 rebounds. FSU had five blocks, while the Demon Deacons registered two blocks.
FSU has now won seven in a row. The Seminoles have won four in a row against league opponents. FSU also has three consecutive victories over the Demon Deacons. FSU has a 28-25 all-time advantage in the series with Wake Forest.
With the victory, FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton is now tied for sixth place in ACC history for overall career wins. He has 348 career wins, tying former Maryland head coach Lefty Driesell.