FINAL: Noles hold off late Irish run to win, 85-84

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
January 25, 2020

Florida State guard Trent Forrest (3) reacts in the final seconds of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, Fla., Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Florida State won 68-61. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- For the first time since last Saturday, Florida State returns to the hardwood. For the first time in nearly 50 years, they'll take the hardwood as a top five team in the AP Top 25 rankings.

The Seminoles welcome in Notre Dame to the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center for a Saturday night clash as the Noles search for their 10th straight win.

It's a series the Noles lead, all-time, by one game (5-4).

The Irish come in reeling a bit, having dropped three of their last four games, and the only victory of that stretch was a four-point road win at Georgia Tech. ND has, however, lost by a combined five points in their last two losses (67-64 vs. Louisville, 84-82 vs. Syracuse).

Tip off is set for 8 p.m. on the ACC Network.

Below will be a running live blog of the game, with play-by-play updates and analysis. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow myself on Twitter as well as WCTV Sports.


Wow. So, lets see if I can recap the final 16.9 seconds:

  • Gray gets called for a five-second violation, turnover, ND ball
  • Ensuing ND inbounds had a block, a missed shot, a ball hit out to midcourt, with ND recovering, and a ball knocked out of bounds to give ND one more chance with 2.6 seconds left
  • ND inbound, attempted three from the wing is no good, FSU wins.

    Didja get all that?

    The game is over. The Noles have won their 10th straight.

    If you want to relive it, our gamer is here. Highlights are coming shortly to the web, and you can watch Ryan give them to you in tonight's 11 p.m. newscast.

    Thanks for joining me tonight. We'll meet again on Tuesday as the Noles head to UVA.

    2nd Half, 16.9: 85-84, Florida State

    Here I am, regretting my last update.

    Over the last five minutes, Florida State has not hit a field goal. Over the same stretch, Notre Dame is 6-of-7, including three of their last three.

    We now find ourselves in a one-score game, after RaiQuan Gray turned over the inbounds pass for an easy lay in to make it 85-84.

    2nd Half, 4:01: 80-73, Florida State

    Just checking in. Are you having fun? I'm having fun.

    Honestly, there's not a ton to talk about. Currently working on my recap (which I hope doesn't jinx anything) as we head to the home stretch from the Tuck. Far from the battle that the UVA game was. But you know, what's a-okay.

    FSU has been on cruise control, I'll say, really all half. Which again, is fine. The score may say it's a seven point game, but it isn't really that close.

    I can't wait to regret those words later.

    2nd Half, 11:13: 68-57, Florida State

    It's time to check in on our pal, Wyatt Wilkes.

    He has 19 points, is 6-for-9 from the floor and is 5-for-5 from three.

    That is all.

    2nd Half, 15:41: 53-44, Florida State

    I said on Twitter I wasn't going to update the blog, but I guess you can chalk that up to a lie.

    There's not much to say, though - a bit of a slow start in terms of pace but both teams are having no trouble finding their footing to re-start the game.


    So far, so good for the Noles.

    Full stats look like this.

    1st Half, 2:27: 45-34, Florida State

    Wyatt Wilkes. Have yourself a night.

    The forward has 14 points, is 4-of-6 from the floor and 4-for-4 from three. Yes, you are reading all of those correctly.

    ND felt like they were starting to chip away at the lead, making it a two-possession game at one point, but in reality they've only made two of their last 10 shots from the floor (however, with FSU in the double bonus, the Irish are taking an awful lot of free throws).

    1st Half, 7:05: 35-25, Florida State

    Alright, a real break. Let's get you caught up.

    22-3 is the nice way to put it for ND: FSU was controlling every facet of the game, getting whatever they wanted. If someone wanted to steal the ball, they would. If they wanted a shot to fall, it would. If someone wanted to throw down a dunk to get the crowd going, they would (looking at you, Trent Forest, who joined the 1,000 point club tonight).

    Things have calmed down a bit since, but FSU is still shooting very well. As it stands, it's a 50% mark from the floor and 71.4% from three (5-for-7).

    If there's a downside to FSU this half, it's the foul situation - ND is already in the bonus and we still have 7+ minutes to play (although, I'll be the first to admit some of those calls were ticky-tack.)

    1st Half, 10:49: 26-18, Florida State

    I'll catch you up at the next timeout, but just know the Noles are in the middle of a 22-3 run and an 18-0 run to take their first lead of the game.

    1st Half, 11:55: 18-16, Notre Dame

    The second unit (as much as FSU has one of those) is doing some good work for the Seminoles. FSU is playing with a much better pace, have seemed to ease into the game, and are currently on an 8-0 run while holding ND 0-of-last-4 from the floor.

    Balsa Koprivica has returned to game action, which is good to see.

    Also good to see, if you're a Noles fan, is ND cooling off - last timeout, they were shooting over 60% from the floor. Currently, it's a 42.9% percentage and 37.5% from three.

    (The Noles, by comparison, are 45.5% and 66.7%, respectively)

    1st Half, 15:52: 15-4, Notre Dame

    It's been a slow start to this one for the Seminoles, who are shooting just 25% from the floor to open the game and trail by 11 as we are inside of 16 minutes to play.

    The Seminoles have been sluggish on both sides of the floor; their passes don't look crisp, which has led to four early turnovers tonight, and they're struggling to get back in transition, which ND is pushing successfully.

    The Irish, by the way, opening this game by shooting 62.5% from the floor (5-for-8).


    What's up, everyone. The Tucker Center is close to full. Almost everyone is wearing black (including FSU themselves) and we are just about set for a Saturday night showdown.

    Here are tonight's lineups:

    Trent Forest
    MJ Walker
    Devin Vassell
    RaiQuan Gray
    Malik Osbourne

    Rex Pflueger
    Prentiss Hubb
    TJ Gibbs
    Juwan Durham
    John Mooney

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