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Mar 1, 1997

Seminoles Deny Deacons ACC Title, 59-55

Kerry Thompson scored 21 points and Florida State denied fifth-ranked Wake Forest any chance at the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title with a 59-55 victory.

Randell Jackson had 16 points and 12 rebounds and did a solid defensive job on center Tim Duncan for the Seminoles (16-11, 6-10 ACC), who face Wake Forest again in their opening-round game of the ACC Tournament on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Duncan had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Demon Deacons (22-15, 11-5), who were trying to become the third school to win three consecutive ACC titles. Wake Forest's third loss in five games handed Duke the conference title.

Tony Rutland scored 12 points for the Deacons. Duncan, the favorite for Player of the Year honors, scored just four points and missed four free throws in the final nine minutes.

FSU, which led by as many as 13 points in the first half, took control for good with a 10-2 run late in the second half. After a three-pointer by Tony Rutland gave Wake Forest a 45-42 lead with 6:37 left, LaMarr Greer and Thompson had baskets as the Seminoles took a one-point lead.

Jackson and Kirk Luchman scored around a layup by Duncan and Jackson added another layup to give Florida State a 52-47 bulge with 2:55 to go. Greer answered Jerry Braswell's three-pointer with one of his own with 1:24 left, maintaining FSU's five-point lead.

The Seminoles made 4-of-7 free throws down the stretch to offset a basket by Duncan and a three-pointer by Joseph Amonett.

Greer scored eight points and Luchman grabbed 11 rebounds as FSU overcame a poor performance by leading scorer James Collins, who was averging 16.4 points per game but managed just six on 1-of-8 shooting. The Seminoles shot 43 percent (23-of-54) from the field and held a 38-37 rebounding edge.

Wake Forest shot 38 percent (22-of-58) and made just 4-of-9 free throws. The Deacons again were done in by a lack of support for Duncan. Braswell was 1-of-7 from the field and Ricky Peral was 2-of-8.

Thompson scored seven points and Jackson six as the Seminoles raced to a 21-8 lead in the first 11 minutes. The Deacons got two straight baskets from Peral and three in a row by Duncan in 17-6 burst, cutting the deficit to two points.

Rutland closed the half with a three-pointer, pulling Wake within 31-28. A three-point play by Steven Goolsby gave the Deacons their first lead of the second half at 40-39 with 10:46 to go.

WAKE FOREST (55)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Duncan          40 10-17   0-4  7-17  5  1   20
Braswell        28   1-7   0-0   2-6  1  4    3
Rutland         34  4-11   1-2   0-4  2  4   12
Allen           12   1-2   0-0   1-4  0  0    2
Peral           37   2-8   0-0   0-1  3  1    4
Goolsby         19   2-6   1-1   0-1  0  0    6
Amonett         20   2-4   0-0   0-1  0  2    6
Woods           10   0-3   2-2   0-1  0  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-58   4-9 10-35 11 13   55
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.379, FT-.444. 3-Point Goals:
7-25, .280 (Duncan 0-2, Braswell 1-5, Rutland
3-9, Peral 0-1, Goolsby 1-5, Amonett 2-3). Team
rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 2 (Woods, Duncan).
Turnovers: 9 (Duncan 3, Braswell 2, Rutland 2,
Goolsby, Peral). Steals: 1 (Duncan).
FLORIDA ST (59)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
K Thompson      36  8-14   3-5   1-2  3  3   21
Jackson         36  8-17   0-1  5-12  0  0   16
Greer           33   3-5   0-0   0-3  3  1    8
Collins         37   1-8   2-4   1-6  3  3    4
Luchman         37   2-6   1-2  2-11  2  3    5
Deas             4   0-0   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
Brower          10   1-3   2-2   0-0  0  0    5
Louis            7   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-54  8-14  9-34 12 12   59
_______________________________________________
Percentages: FG-.426, FT-.571. 3-Point Goals:
5-12, .417 (K Thompson 2-4, Greer 2-3, Collins
0-3, Brower 1-2). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked
shots: 5 (K Thompson, Jackson, Greer, Collins,
Luchman). Turnovers: 10 (K Thompson 5, Collins,
Deas, Greer, Jackson, Luchman). Steals: 5 (K
Thompson 2, Collins, Greer, Luchman).
__________________________________
Wake Forest        28   27  -   55
Florida St         31   28  -   59
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 6,098. Officials:
Frank Scagliotta, Mike Wood, Arthur Crocier.

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