Williams, Forrest pace Noles for 19th straight home win, 65-59

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
February 3, 2020

Florida State forward Patrick Williams (4) shoots against North Carolina guard Cole Anthony (2) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. Florida State defeated North Carolina 65-59. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- For the second time in program history, Florida State has recorded back-to-back home wins against the University of North Carolina as FSU won its 19th consecutive home game in a 65-59 victory Monday evening.

FSU also defeated UNC at home by a one-point margin, 81-80, on January 3, 2018.

For 10 minutes in the second half, North Carolina went without hitting a shot from the floor, going 0-for-18, as FSU went 19-5 over that span to overtake what was then a UNC lead and turn it into a 52-42 FSU lead, the biggest of the game for either side.

UNC then went on a 17-13 run inside the final 5:23 of the game, but couldn't get enough shots to fall in the closing minutes as the Seminoles hung on for the win.

Both teams started the game ice cold from the floor, with the Noles shooting just 30% in the game's opening minutes while the Tar Heels shot 33.3% in the same stretch.

The Noles' defense was stingy, forcing four shot clock violations in the first half against UNC, but it was the Heels who got the game underneath them first, rattling off a quick 8-0 run in the middle stages of the first half, holding FSU scoreless for 3:23 in the same span, to take an 18-12 lead.

UNC held steady for the rest of the first half until the final 2:43, when the Noles surged for a 9-0 run to end the frame, capped off by a Patrick Williams three in the corner to give FSU a 29-28 lead at the halftime break.

For the first time this season, Devin Vassell failed to score at least 10 points in an ACC game and failed to reach the 10-point plateau for the first time since December 28 against North Alabama (eight games). What Vassell lacked on the scoreboard, he made up for elsewhere, stuffing the stat sheet with nine boards (seven on the defensive glass), two assists and two blocks.

FSU was led in scoring by Patrick Williams and Trent Forrest, who each logged 14.

Williams was 3-for-4 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from three and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while also leading the team in rebounds (nine, along with Vassell) and two assists.

Forrest went 5-for-12 from the floor and just 1-for-3 from deep but did dish out three assists and record a pair of blocks.

RaiQuan Gray logged 12 points for FSU.

In his return for the Tar Heels, guard Cole Anthony had a night, leading all scorers with 16 points (5-for-22 form the floor, 3-for-10 from deep) with eight boards (team best) and three assists.

Keeling (14) and Leaky Black (10) also finished in double figures for UNC.

FSU outrebounded the Heels, who entered the evening as the fifth-best team in the nation on the glass, 43-37.

Florida State returns to action on Saturday at noon against Miami in a sell out at the Tucker Center.

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