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FSU finally gets road win
By KEVIN BRAFFORD
Published January 27, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. - The last time Florida State won an ACC road game, Von Wafer was a junior at tiny Pineview High in Lisbon, La., with a bad haircut and an addiction to fast food.
Wednesday night, the Seminoles' sophomore exploded for 23 points in a 70-64 upset of North Carolina State.
FSU (11-9, 3-4) had lost 26 visits in a row to its ACC brethren. Their last conference win in something other than white uniforms? 75-63 at Clemson on March 3, 2001.
"I don't have to read about it or look at the headlines any more," said FSU coach Leonard Hamilton. "Obviously, this is a milestone for our kids."
FSU, an 11-point underdog, pulled it off with a spectacular stretch of shooting in the first half, sterling play to open the second half and solid free-throw shooting to hold off a late rally by the Wolfpack (12-7, 2-4).
The Seminoles scored just 13 points in the opening 14 minutes, before Wafer took over. He scored all 11 of his first-half points in the final six minutes as FSU went on a 20-4 run on their way to an eight point halftime lead.
Two more Wafer 3-pointers - he was 5-of-5 from beyond the arc at that point - and a breakaway dunk after a Todd Galloway steal, helped FSU take a 45-31 lead just 2:56 into the second half.
FSU still led 61-52 at the seven-minute mark, but the Wolfpack got 3-pointers from Ilian Evtimov and Jordan Collins as part of a 10-4 run to get within three, 65-62, with 3:45 to play.
That was as close as N.C. State would get.
The Wolfpack were shaky from the free-throw line, missing 7-of-9 in one stretch, while the Seminoles made 18-of-22 for the game.
Still, N.C. State had the ball trailing only 66-63 with 28 seconds to go.
The Wolfpack used a timeout, but could only manage a 3-point attempt from Collins that air balled with 8 seconds left. Adam Waleskowski picked up the errant shot, was fouled and nailed two free throws.
"Man, this is great," said Wafer. "Coach (Stan) Jones reminds us every day of this streak. Now they'll have to find something else to get on us about."
Al Thornton added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds for FSU, which doesn't play again until next Wednesday at Georgia Tech. Alexander Johnson chipped in with 11 points, all in the second half.