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February 24, 2010

FSU defeats North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chris Singleton scored 19 points and Florida State hit 11 3-pointers leading Florida State to its first victory at the Dean E. Smith Center since Jan. 22, 2000. The Seminoles (20-7, 8-5 ACC), who entered Wednesday's contest hitting just 33 percent of their 3-point attempts, nailed 11-for-24 (45.8%) from deep against the Tar Heels (14-14, 3-10 ACC).

Fueled by 9-for-15 shooting from 3-point range and just four turnovers in the first half, the Seminoles built a 48-33 lead going into the locker room and never looked back.

"I thought that for the most part we played with a tremendous amount of energy," Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We hit our free throws down the stretch, took care of the ball, and came away with a victory."

Wednesday's win, the third straight in conference play, ensures that Florida State will finish the regular season with no less than a .500 record in the ACC and moves them into a third place tie in the conference standings.

"It was a pretty big victory for us right now," sophomore guard Deividas Dulkys said. "Getting this win is pretty special because we can remember that we came to North Carolina and beat them on their home court."

The victory, which marked FSU's second consecutive victory over the Tar Heels, came on the shoulders of another strong effort from Singleton who added eight rebounds to his team-high 19 points. The sophomore forward also contributed on defense with three blocks and two steals.

"We are just trying to end the season on a good note," Singleton said. "Tonight our defense was key. Our defense led to offense, and that is when we are good. I think we did a good job of catching it and being ready to shoot as well as making the extra pass to create an opportunity for us."

The Seminoles controlled the game from the opening tip with strong offensive shooting in the first half. Despite the Seminoles carrying a 15 point lead into the break, Hamilton was unhappy with his team's defense as they allowed the Tar Heels to shoot 52 percent from the floor. That changed in the second half with FSU holding Roy Williams' club to just 32 percent shooting from the floor.

"That is just uncharacteristic of us to give up that kind of field goal percentage (in the first half), I think the second half they shot 32 percent which is a little more to our liking," Hamilton said. "Once we did a little better job containing the dribble in the second half, we were able to at least keep them at bay."

In a game where Florida State led by as many as 23 points, the scoring was spread out. Singleton was joined in double figures by Dulkys, who added 17 points, including five 3-pointers, coming off the bench. Junior guard Derwin Kitchen added 13 points and dished out six assists, while freshman guard Michael Snaer scored 11 points for the Seminoles. Ryan Reid scored just three points but had 10 rebounds and a career-high six assists.

Florida State had a 36-31 rebounding advantage against North Carolina while dishing out 20 assists to 15 turnovers.

The Tar Heels were led by junior wing Will Graves, who scored 21 points. Florida State limited yet another opponent to less than 50 percent shooting from the field as UNC was 21-for-50 (42%) from the floor.

Florida State will return home to host the Clemson Tigers on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.


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