By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
January 25, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It was a career night for Wyatt Wilkes as #5 Florida State won their 10th straight game, staving off a last-second comeback attempt from Notre Dame, 85-84, in front of a sold out crowd at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Saturday night.
Wilkes scored a career high 19 points, going 5-for-6 from three-point range in the process.
FSU was sitting pretty for most of the second half, leading 80-69 with 5:16 to play, but went ice cold from the floor for the rest of the way, finishing the game without a made shot from the floor (0-for-last-9 shots).
In that time, the Fighting Irish staged a furious comeback, outscoring the Seminoles 15-5 in the final minutes of the contest, to eventually pull within five points with 27 seconds remaining.
At that 27 second mark, FSU's RaiQuan Gray turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, leading to a bucket from Juwan Durham.
On the ensuing inbound, the Noles never got a chance to play it, as Gray was called for a five-second violation, giving the ball back to the Irish with 17 seconds left.
Once ND inbounded the ball, it was a furrocious defensive effort by the Noles to keep the Irish off the board. FSU forced a blocked, a missed shot, a reset at halfcourt for the Irish and knocked the ball out of bounds with 2.6 to play.
Notre Dame got one final shot off, but was unable to get it to fall, as ND had four shots at the bucket in the final half minute and couldn't get any to fall, preserving the Noles' 85-84 win.
It was a slow start to the game for FSU. Notre Dame opened the game on a 15-4 run in which the Noles struggled to get the game under them.
In the opening four minutes of the contest, the Noles turned the ball over four times and were shooting just 25% from the floor as Notre Dame was having success not only capitalizing on those FSU turnovers, but running their offense in transition.
Tides began to turn in favor of the Seminoles towards the midway point of the first half: The Noles began to pick up the pace and held Notre Dame scoreless for what became a five minute Fighting Irish drought.
During that drought, the Seminoles took their first lead of the game on an Anthony Polite three pointer, making it 19-18.
From there, FSU caught fire, as a three from Wilkes followed and Trent Forest soon followed it up with a steal and a dunk for his 1,000th career point.
The newest member of the 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ point Club pic.twitter.com/QAzdNy9eeG— FSU Hoops (@FSUHoops) January 26, 2020
When the run was all said and done, FSU had ripped a 22-3 run to take a 26-18 lead, and never looked back.
FSU finished the game shooting 46.2% from the floor, 66.7% from three and going 13-for-14 from the free throw line.
ND logged a 44.1% clip from the floor, 37% night from deep and went 22-27 at the line.
Joining Wilkes in double-figure scoring for the Seminoles was Gray, Forest (13) and Devin Vassell (11).
The Fighting Irish logged five double-digit scorers: Prentiss Hubb (24), John Mooney and Durham (16), Dane Goodwin (12) and TJ Gibbs (11).
Florida State will next take the floor on Tuesday in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they'll rematch against the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers.
FSU won the first meeting between the two programs just a couple of weeks ago, in a 54-50 win at the Tucker Center.