Florida State 70

(3-3, 1-1 away)

Minnesota 69

(2-3, 2-2 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 30, 2004

    1 2 T
    FSU 38 3270
    MINN 41 2869

    Top Performers

    Florida State: V. Wafer 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Minnesota: V. Grier 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast

    Wafer leads Seminoles with 19

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Florida State picked the key point in the game to play its best basketball of the night.

    The Seminoles used a 16-0 run late in the second half and held on to defeat Minnesota 70-69 Tuesday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

    "Our youngsters grew up a little bit," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They came together, stuck to the game plan, and made some shots they had not been making all year."

    Sophomore Von Wafer led the Seminoles (3-3) with 19 points as Florida State stormed back from a 14-point deficit with seven minutes to play. Todd Galloway's 3-pointer from the corner with 2:05 to play put the Seminoles ahead 65-63, their first lead since they scored the first basket of the game.

    "We knew we had out backs against the wall and just had to come out scratching. We love those situations," Wafer said. "What made that (run) happen was tough defense. There's no doubt that the key to the win was stopping their shots from falling and not worrying about our shots.

    Minnesota shot 55.2 percent from the floor in the first half -- hitting eight of their first 10 3-pointers -- but the Golden Gophers were just 10-for-30 from the floor in the second half and went scoreless for 5½ minutes as the Seminoles made their run.

    "We played like deer in the headlights the last seven minutes out there," Minnesota center Jeff Hagen said. "Defensively, we fell apart, and on offense for a stretch we just couldn't hit."

    Minnesota coach Dan Monson said his young team played too cautiously after taking its big lead midway through the second half. "I think it was a case of looking at the clock and not continuing to move on offense," Monson said.

    After Florida State took the lead, Hagen tied the score at 65 with 1:51 to play, but Wafer hit a 3-pointer to put the Seminoles back on top 20 seconds later.

    After a free throw by Vincent Grier, the Gophers forced a turnover but Grier missed a long jump shot and Al Thornton hit a fast-break layup to seal the win for Florida State.

    "Down the stretch, we played not to lose, instead of playing to win," Minnesota guard Rico Tucker said. "That's what happens when you have a team with 10 to 12 new players. Nobody's been in this situation before. The coaches tried to slow us down to help us get some easy baskets and shave some time off the clock."

    Grier scored 23 points to lead Minnesota (2-3), while Dan Coleman added 14 and Aaron Robinson scored 11.

    Grier, a junior forward who entered the night leading the Big Ten in scoring at 19 points per game, scored in streaks from all over the court Tuesday, and the Gophers fed off his energy to take control early. He scored 13 points in the first 12 minutes of the game, hitting three 3-pointers and two shots inside the paint, as Minnesota built a double-digit lead.

    After the Seminoles fought back into the game, Grier helped the Gophers pull away in the second half with another spurt, scoring seven points in 1:40 to build a 59-47 lead with 11:30 remaining.

    However, the Seminoles put extra pressure on Grier when he got the ball the rest of the way, and were able to use their defense to trigger numerous fast breaks as they flew past Minnesota on Galloway's 3.

    "A lot of their run was off our offense and then running it right at us," Monson said. "They got a lot of points off transition. We were trying to post Vincent Grier and run our offense through him, but they did a good job of taking him away as the game progressed."

    Thornton scored 12 points for the Seminoles, while Galloway added 10.

    "We had to grow up," Hamilton said of the Seminoles' strategy for overcoming a 14-point deficit in the second half. "We stuck with our principles, executed, made the extra pass and defended."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 70 69
    FG Made-Attempted 27-53 (.509) 26-59 (.441)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-15 (.533) 10-21 (.476)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-11 (.727) 7-9 (.778)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 14

    2004-05 Season

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