RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)Malik Osborne scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half and Cam’Ron Fletcher and Matthew Cleveland made big plays in the final seconds to help Florida State edge North Carolina State 83-81 on Saturday.
Fletcher scored 14 points and Cleveland and Caleb Mills 13 each as the Seminoles (7-4, 1-1 ACC) survived a 32-point performance by Dereon Seabron to hand the Wolfpack (7-7, 0-3) its fifth straight loss.
After Terquavion Smith hit a 3-pointer off a Seabron assist to cut FSU’s lead to 79-78, Cleveland was fouled after an offensive rebound and made 1 of 2 free throws. NC State called timeout with 8.4 seconds remaining but Fletcher stole the inbounds pass meant for Seabron and was fouled. He made the first free throw and missed the second but NC State’s Jericole Hellems was called for a foul going for the rebound and Cleveland sank two more free throws. Smith hit his seventh 3-pointer as the game ended.
Seabron was 12-of-14 shooting. His only 2-point miss came with NC State up by a point with a minute to go and led to a held-ball and an FSU possession that began the Seminoles’ 9-6 game-ending run. Seabron and Smith combined for 30 of NC State’s 40 second-half points, including the final 23. Smith made seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points.
Both teams shot over 50%. NC State made 12 3-pointers, six more than FSU. The Seminoles’ bench outscored NC State’s 35-9. FSU outrebounded the Wolfpack 37-29 and had five more off the offensive glass in a matchup of the top two offensive rebounding teams in the ACC.
Neither team led by more than seven points and there were 14 lead changes.
Trailing by two at halftime, the Wolfpack went up by seven, 58-51, after a Breon Pass 3-pointer. FSU bounced back with Osborne scoring eight straight points to start a 16-4 run and Cleveland adding six to lead 67-62 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining.
Florida State was playing its first game in 17 days, its longest in-season layoff since the 1955-56 season. After defeating Lipscomb 97-60 on Dec. 15 the Seminoles had their next three games either canceled or postponed because of COVID-related issues.
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