Freshman’s heroics lead NC State to 69-66 win at Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Freshman J.J. Hickson sank two free throws with 9.6 seconds left and then blocked a Toney Douglas layup try at the other end of the floor Saturday to boost North Carolina State to a 69-66 victory over Florida State.
Courtney Fells’ 3-point shot had tied the game at 66 with 40 seconds left before Hickson’s two free throws make it 68-66 and Javier Gonzalez added a free throw with 2.2 seconds left after Hickson’s game-saving block.
North Carolina State (13-6, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 46.5 percent while Florida State (13-8, 2-4) hit just 36.8 percent of its shots.
Douglas had put the Seminoles ahead 62-59 with a 3-point basket with 2:50 to go but failed on his last two attempts in the final 10 seconds.
Fells led the winners with 16 points, Gavin Grant added 14 and Hickson coupled a dozen points with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Douglas’ 17 points led Florida State which also had 14 points each from Uche Echefu and Ralph Mims.
The big difference came in the first half when the visiting Wolfpack scored the final 17 points to erase a 12-point deficit.
Grant hit a 3-pointer and added a layup 23 seconds later to ignite the run in the final 4:31 of the half that gave the Wolfpack a 36-31 halftime lead.
Florida State had built a 31-19 advantage before going scoreless the final 5:08 of the half.
The Seminoles regained the lead 43-42 with 12:24 left when Jason Rich slipped free along the baseline for an uncontested dunk that setup a seesaw finish.