CHAPEL HILL, NC. - (seminoles.com) — No. 11 Florida State fell short to North Carolina in a hard-fought game, losing 78-70 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
Redshirt junior RaiQuan Gray scored in double figures for the tenth consecutive game with a team-high 17 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Gray was just two rebounds shy from his fourth career double-double.
Florida State is now 14-4 overall and 10-3 in ACC play. North Carolina is 15-7 overall and 9-5 in the ACC.
Freshman Scottie Barnes scored 12 points for the Seminoles and had a career high seven rebounds. Barnes had a career-high and team-high six steals, playing a huge defensive role against the Tar Heels.
Redshirt junior Anthony Polite also scored in double figures with 10 points. With two triples, Polite has made at least one 3-point field goal in each of the 14 games he has played in this season. He is shooting a career-high .463 from the 3-point line on the season.
With eight points and five rebounds, sophomore Balsa Koprivica was 4-of-5 shooting for the ‘Noles. He has scored at least six points in each of Florida State’s 18 games this season. Koprivica blocked a team-high three shots and contributed one steal.
Senior M.J. Walker was welcomed into the 1,000 career-point club with nine points this evening. Walker is just the 47th player in school history to reach this esteemed mark.
Florida State was leading by as many as 16 points in the first half, and was up 41-29 at the break. The Seminoles have led 17 out of 18 games at the half this season. With a 10-0 run to start the second half, North Carolina caught up, claiming their first lead of the second half with 12:41 left to play.
The Seminoles managed to hold North Carolina to 38.3 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc. Florida State also had the edge up on steals with 16 while North Carolina had 11. This marks the 17th time in 18 games this season that Florida State has earned five or more steals in a single game.
North Carolina’s freshman, Walker Kessler, had a game high and career high of 20 points and was 9-of-10 shooting. Junior Leaky Black led with four assists and freshman Caleb Love led with three steals.
No. 11 Florida State’s road swing has come to an end as they will return home on March 3 to play in the last home game of the season against Boston College. The game is at 9:00 pm ET and will be aired on the ACC Network. FSU then follows with its season finale at Notre Dame on March 6 at Noon.