Saturday, January 14, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Florida State 90, UNC 57
By Robbi Pickeral
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A quick look at Florida State’s 90-57 blowout win over No. 3 North Carolina at the Tucker Center on Saturday:
What it means for FSU: Sweet, sweet redemption. UNC had won five straight at FSU, the last two on late-game shots. Earlier this week, Seminoles forward Bernard James said he hoped his team was so far ahead that there would not be a worry about a buzzer-beater -- and there wasn’t. The Seminoles, a Sweet 16 team last season, had people doubting their prospects after losses to two Ivy League schools and a 20-point defeat at Clemson. But they just might be back on track.
What it means for UNC: A wake-up call. A slap in the face. And, perhaps, a kick in the pants. UNC coach Roy Williams said he thought his team had grown complacent during its nine-game homestand, and it looked like it. This one will raise comparisons to last season’s 20-point loss at Georgia Tech. But in some ways, it’s so much worse -- because so much more is expected of a veteran team. This was Carolina’s most lopsided loss ever under Williams. Wow.
How it happened: FSU -- the team that managed only 10 first-half points against Princeton on its home floor a couple weeks ago -- led the Tar Heels 36-28 at halftime on the strength of 16 points from senior guard Deividas Dulkys. He and the Seminoles didn’t stop there.
FSU outscored UNC 22-4 to open the second half. While Florida State fed off its crowd, North Carolina seemed to panic, rushing shots as it struggled to find ways to score through, over or around the Seminoles’ D.
It was a blowout in every sense of the word. FSU outrebounded Carolina by eight and shot 48.4 percent. The Tar Heels turned the ball over 22 times and shot only 37.3 percent. Harrison Barnes led the team with 15 points, but no one stood out during this lackluster effort.
Star of the game: Gee, who could this be? Dulkys scored a career-high 32 points, hitting 12 of 14 shots and making 8 of 10 from long range. To put that in perspective: In his previous nine games, Dulkys posted a total of 32 points on 10-of-40 shooting (25 percent) and 5-of-29 (17 percent) from 3.
Injury report: UNC shooting guard Dexter Strickland, who sprained his ankle Wednesday, didn’t practice Thursday and returned to practice Friday, started but finished with four points in 21 minutes. Reserve forward Desmond Hubert, who also sprained his ankle Wednesday and didn’t practice Thursday or Friday, did not play.
Number to know: FSU is 3-1 in its last four games against teams ranked in the top three of the Associated Press poll. It also beat top-ranked Duke in January 2011, and No. 1 UNC in March 2009.
Hubbub:Saturday marked ESPN College GameDay’s first trip to town. With the DirecTV blimp flying overhead, fans showed up early to watch the show, and eventually the game. … FSU forward Bernard James’ mom, Beverly Cook, performed the national anthem before the game. And did a beautiful job.
What’s next: The Tar Heels travel to Blacksburg, Va., to face Virginia Tech on Thursday. The Seminoles will host Maryland on Tuesday.
Correction: An early version of this story stated that FSU beat Ohio State in 2010. That was incorrect, and has been deleted.