FSU Stays Hot with Win Over Wake

By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- In this week's issue, the No. 23 Florida State men's basketball team is featured as one of the hot teams in the country in Sports Illustrated's "what's hot and what's not" list.

After walloping Wake Forest, 75-52, Wednesday night in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Seminoles are well on their way towards a repeat performance inside the magazine's pages.

Winners of five in a row -- a streak that is the team's longest since 1993 -- FSU (14-6, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) has now scored at least 75 points in four consecutive games and has defeated Wake Forest (11-9, 2-4) four consecutive times -- a feat that has not occurred since the 1993-94 season.

The ACC's reigning player of the Week, Michael Snaer, led the Seminoles in scoring with 18 points. The junior guard was a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range and 6-for-9 overall from the field. Snaer's excellence from long range helped FSU shoot 50 percent from 3-point distance and 50.9 percent in total.

One game after shooting 67 percent in the second half against Duke, the 'Noles shot 68 percent in the final period against the Demon Deacons.

Just like that buzzer-beating victory over the Blue Devils, Xavier Gibson had another strong game. Gibson scored 10 points while adding three rebounds. Bernard James scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds and Okaro White came off the bench to add 11 points.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said earlier in the week that Demon Deacons center Ty Walker presented a unique challenge because of his ability to alter games defensively. But Walker proved to be a non-factor after he left the game late in the first half with what was announced as a concussion.

Walker still managed four blocks in his limited time on the floor but FSU scored 40 points in the paint and won the rebounding battle 32-25. The Demon Deacons were also held to just 34.9 percent shooting.

Demon Deacons star Travis McKie -- the ACC's fourth-leading scorer before Wednesday night with a per-game average of 17.2 points -- was limited to just three points.

The Seminoles led 29-23 at the half before Wake Forest cut that advantage to just two points early in the second period. But FSU answered with a 18-2 run and never trailed by less than double digits the rest of the game.

Florida State has a week off until its next game. The 'Noles will host Georgia Tech on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in a game that will air on the ACC Network and online at ESPN3.com

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