Free throws help the Seminoles pull away from UNC-Asheville in final minute for a 76-68 win.
By ALEX ABRAMS
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 7, 2001
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State made 24 free throws, including six in the final minute, to defeat North Carolina-Asheville 76-68 in front of 3,276 at the Leon-County Civic Center on Saturday.
Shooting guard Monte Cummings and point guard Delvon Arrington combined to make six free throws after the Seminoles took a two-point lead with 51 seconds left.
"We're a pretty good free-throw shooting team," FSU coach Steve Robinson said. "We only hit eight baskets (in the second half), but we knocked down 14 free throws. That was a big plus."
Cummings hit 13 of 16 free throws to tie his career high with 19 points.
"It was routine," Cummings said. FSU shot 70 percent from the line to combat a lackluster offensive performance. The Seminoles were 23-of-56 from the field.
Allan Lovett led UNC-Asheville with 16 points and four rebounds and was the only Bulldog to score in double figures.
FSU narrowly avoided an embarrassing loss to UNCA, 0-31 against the ACC. Bulldogs guard Brandon Carter hit a jumper with 5:21 remaining to reduce the lead to 60-58.
FSU shooting guard Adrian Crawford sparked a 16-10 run when he hit a three-pointer with 4:53 left. The senior made three three-pointers in the game to pass Sam Cassell for eighth on the school's all-time list with 109.
"Guys stepped up when we needed it to win a close basketball game," Robinson said.
"It's only important to take that lead when the clock runs out," UNCA coach Eddie Biedenbach said. "We couldn't get any open shots from our big guys."
With 10:54 left in the first half, Cummings hit a free throw to extend FSU's lead to 30-16. The team failed to score for six minutes, however, as UNCA cut the lead to six by halftime.
In the second half, FSU got an offensive spark from freshman power forward Michael Joiner. He scored eight consecutive points midway through to finish with 17 points.
"I was trying to get the feel of the game," Joiner said. "I was trying to let the game come to me. Really, I just tried to play within the team."
The Seminoles outrebounded UNC Asheville 40-23 and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 47 percent from the field.
The Seminoles won their fourth non-conference game in a row.