Friday , Jan , 23 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Tar Heeled: FSU rallies past UNC

Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) – Tim Pickett scored a season-high 30 points,
including six in overtime, as Florida State rallied from a 24-point deficit to
pull out an amazing 90-81 victory over 11th-ranked North Carolina at the Leon
County Civic Center.

Todd Galloway hit the tying three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation
and the Seminoles scored the first 11 points in overtime on the way to
snapping a four-game losing streak.

Alexander Johnson chipped in 15 points for Florida State (13-5, 2-3 ACC),
which never led until overtime. The Seminoles’ last three losses — all in
conference play — had come by single digits, including an overtime setback at
Virginia four days ago.

“This is a very significant win for our team because North Carolina represents
the tradition in basketball we’re trying to get to,” said Florida State head
coach Leonard Hamilton. “We’re the kind of team, in order to be successful, we
have to be playing all out.”

North Carolina (11-4, 1-3), which was coming off an 86-83 win over then-No. 1
Connecticut on Saturday, lost its third straight road game. Rashad McCants
scored 26 points for the Tar Heels, while Jawad Williams added 15.

The Tar Heels had a three-point lead with a chance to put it away in the
closing seconds, but Sean May had a layup blocked by Johnson with under 20
seconds left. The Seminoles went the other way and Galloway drained a three-
pointer from the right corner to tie it at 78-78 with 7.2 seconds remaining.

“We’re up three, if we run an offense, we run it (the clock) down, throw it
inside, Sean’s got a layup and their kid made a big time block,” said North
Carolina head coach Roy Williams.

McCants then missed a three-pointer at the other end just before time expired,
sending the contest to overtime.

Johnson gave the Seminoles their first lead of the game with a layup on the
first possession of overtime and McCants missed a three-pointer at the other

Pickett then drained a three-pointer and followed with a jumper in the lane
with just over three minutes left.

The Tar Heels, meanwhile, continued to misfire from beyond the arc. Carolina
missed its first seven shots of the overtime, all from three-point range, as
Florida State built an 89-78 advantage.

McCants finally hit a shot with 23 seconds left for the only Carolina points
of the extra period.

The Tar Heels, who made 10-of-15 three-point shots in a dominant first half,
hit only 2-of-14 from beyond the arc in the second half and overtime.

“It was fools’ gold for us, making all the jump shots and thinking it was
going to be easy,” Williams said of the early shooting spree.

North Carolina used a 21-0 run early in the game to take control. The Tar
Heels led by as many as 24 in the first half and held an 18-point advantage in
the second half before Florida State made a big run.

The Seminoles used a 20-5 surge to pull within 72-69 with just over seven
minutes to play.

Pickett scored seven during the burst, including a three-pointer to make it a
nine-point game. Von Wafer finished the run with four straight points to pull
Florida State within three with 5:17 left.

The Carolina lead was still three with under two minutes to play when Florida
State came up with a steal. The Seminoles, though, turned the ball over on a
backcourt violation with 1:18 remaining.

The Tar Heels couldn’t convert with a couple of opportunities at their end,
setting up Galloway’s tying three-pointer.

Galloway finished with seven points.

North Carolina raced out to an early 7-2 lead, but Florida State was able to
keep it close and pulled within 15-13 on a three-pointer by Michael Joiner
with 13:40 left in the half.

The Seminoles then went ice cold as the Tar Heels scored 21 straight points.
McCants and Melvin Scott each hit two three-pointers and scored eight points
during the run.

A three-pointer and a pair of free throws by Scott gave Carolina a 36-13
cushion with 8:18 remaining.

Al Thornton was credited with a bucket on Florida State’s next possession when
May was called for goaltending, ending the Seminole scoring drought of 5 1/2

Raymond Felton’s dunk with 5:38 left before the intermission gave Carolina its
largest lead at 42-18, but Florida State ended the half with a 17-7 run to
pull within 49-35 at the break.

Scott and McCants each scored 14 points in the first half for the Tar Heels,
who shot 55 percent during the opening 20 minutes.

North Carolina began the second half cold, making just one of its first seven
shots, and Florida State pulled within 10 at 53-43 on a three-pointer by Nate

The Heels, though, followed with five straight points to again establish
control and the lead reached 18 before Florida State made its final push.

“When you’ve lost four in a row, you’re down 24, you’re back’s against the
wall and sometimes you just have to do something,” Hamilton said. “I think
that having our backs against the wall relaxed us and allowed us to not think
about the shots we were missing and we put ourselves in a position to win.”