tampabay.com

This time, FSU pulls it out late vs. Jackets

The Seminoles turn the tables by rallying to edge Georgia Tech 80-79.

By D.C. REEVES
Published February 10, 2006


TALLAHASSEE - Trailing by double digits in the second half, Florida State battled back to exact revenge Thursday, nipping Georgia Tech 80-79 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

Last season, FSU lost on the last possession twice against the Yellow Jackets, but this time last-second heroics were provided by Georgia native Andrew Wilson. His 3-pointer from the wing with 1:30 left was the winner.

"(The shot) felt good. I felt like as the game was going on, one of us seniors was going to have to step up," Wilson said. "The fact that they beat us on two last second shots last year makes it big and the fact that we had to win this game."

Wilson, who scored 10, had his first game-winning shot as a Seminole.

"Hopefully when we look back at the end of the season, we'll realize how big that shot was for us," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.

Guard Jason Rich clinched the victory on the Yellow Jackets' last possession. He blocked Lewis Clinch's 3-pointer out of bounds, then forced Anthony Morrow to step on the sideline with 4.7 seconds left.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt used three new starters to try to stop a seven-game losing skid. Sharp shooting behind the arc helped Georgia Tech (9-12, 2-8 ACC) build a 70-56 lead with 9:33 to play. The Yellow Jackets hit a season-high 11 3-pointers in 18 attempts.

"It's always interesting when we have our coaches' meetings, and it seems that we play so many teams that had to have their best night against us," Hamilton said. "We've been getting everyone's best shot. But I thought when we had to have the stops, when we had to get the rebounds and when had to make the baskets, or players stepped up."

Although FSU leading scorer Al Thornton fouled out midway through its run, FSU (14-6, 5-5 ACC) rallied, with center Alexander Johnson's dunk tying it with 2:08 to go.

The Yellow Jackets held advantages in rebounding, shooting percentage and assists but had 26 turnovers.

"We obviously played pretty well for the first 35 minutes," Hewitt said. "But we made some mistakes and some breakdowns we just couldn't overcome."

Yellow Jacket center Ra'Sean Dickey led all scorers with 19 points. Johnson paced the Seminoles with 14.