RALEIGH, NC (seminoles.com) – Redshirt senior Malik Osborne scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half and Florida State outscored NC State 16-14 in the final five minutes to claim an 83-81 victory over NC State at PNC ArÃ¨ne. Sophomore Cam’Ron Fletcher scored a career-high 14 points while posting a career-high six rebounds. Fletcher and rookie Matthew Cleveland made some big plays in the closing minutes of the game to help the Seminoles secure their first ACC road victory of the season.
Cleveland won their first career double-doubles with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Seminoles survived a 32-point performance from Dereon Seabron to claim the victory. Florida State was playing its first game in 17 days, its longest layoff since the 1955-56 season. After defeating Lipscomb 97-60 on December 15, the Seminoles saw their next three games canceled or postponed.
Both teams shot over 50 percent. NC State had 12 3-pointers, six more than FSU. The Seminoles bench beat NC State 35-9. FSU passed the Wolfpack 37-29 and had five more out of the offensive glass in a clash of the ACC’s top two offensive rebounding teams.
Neither team has led by more than seven points and there have been 14 lead changes.
The Seminoles took a 79-75 lead on two free throws from Osborne with 54 seconds left. NC State’s Terquavion Smith scored three points to reduce the FSU’s lead to 79-78. Florida State’s Cleveland was fouled after an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to give the Seminoles an 80-78 lead with 11 seconds left.
The NC state then called the timeout with 8.4 seconds remaining. Immediately after the Wolfpack’s time-out, Fletcher stole the incoming pass intended for Seabron and suffered a foul. He made the first free throw and missed the second, but NC State’s Jericole Hellems was penalized for a rebound foul and Cleveland had two more free throws to give the Seminoles an 83-78 lead.
Smith hit his seventh 3-point pointer late in the game to close the final gap.
Osborne has now scored in double digits in nine of the Seminoles’ 11 games and is averaging a career-high 12.5 points. He has scored in double digits in 32 career games.
Redshirt sophomore Caleb Mills and Cleveland scored 13 points each. Cleveland led the team in rebounds with 10, winning their first career double-double. The freshman shot five of 10 from the field and three of five from the line.
Mills has scored in double digits in five of the last six games and is averaging 12.3 points scored per game.
After a slow start, the Seminoles led 43-41 at halftime. Florida State has led at halftime in 10 of its 11 games this season.
Sophomore Naheem McLeod scored a career-high tying six points on three of three shots in the first half.
Seven Seminoles have scored at least six points this game (RayQuan Evans, Anthony Polite, Mills, Osborne, Fletcher, McLeod and Cleveland) and five Seminoles have shot at least one triple (Polite, Mills, Osborne, Butler, Fletcher).
Florida State recorded nine interceptions against the Wolfpack and continues to lead the ACC with 10 interceptions per game.
In addition to Seabron’s 32 points and seven assists, Smith contributed 23 points to the Wolfpack.
The State of Florida continues to play ACC on the road when it visits Wake Forest on Tuesday, January 4. The game begins at 7 p.m. ET.