Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

Florida State Seminoles shock No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels 90-57

TALLAHASSEE — The previous two times North Carolina traveled to Florida State, the Tar Heels needed buzzer-beating 3-pointers to escape with victories.

That might have been the only type of shot Seminoles guard Deividas Dulkys didn't hit Saturday.

Dulkys hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession after a long series of perimeter passes. He hit another one from the left corner. He hit another from above the right elbow. Add another five to arrive at his final stat line: 12-of-14 from the floor, 8-of-10 from 3-point range, en route to a career-high 32 points. The UNC starters headed to the locker room early to avoid the impending student rush, and FSU celebrated its stunning 90-57 victory over the No. 3-ranked team in the country.

"It was awesome," said Dulkys, who foreshadowed his shooting prowess in morning practice when he made a personal-best 28 3-pointers in a row. "If I wake up tomorrow morning, it was awesome. If not, it was a dream."

The Seminoles (11-6, 2-1 ACC), in front of the season's first sell-out at the Tucker Center, showed no signs of the offensive woes that limited them to 10 points in the first half against Princeton 15 days ago or the defensive lapses that caused them to lose by 20 at Clemson a week ago.

Dulkys' shooting performance was mesmerizing, but FSU coach Leonard Hamilton also pointed to the more subtle elements of the game.

"I just thought that our guys did the little things we've been asking them to do in relation to spacing, ball reversals and penetrating," said Hamilton, whose team entered shooting an ACC-worst 30.2 percent from 3-point range but was 12 of 27 (44.4 percent) Saturday. "We didn't change our offense, and we didn't come up with any other terms to use and motivate our players other than the ones we've been using. The nature of the game, the respect we have for Carolina, the pain of the loss at Clemson all kind of brought our team back in focus."

UNC (15-3, 2-1), which entered leading all of Division I in points and rebounds per game, was held to a season-low scoring output and suffered its worst loss in Roy Williams' nine seasons as coach.

"Florida State made us look like a bunch of little junior high guys," he said.

Center Tyler Zeller had a game-high 14 rebounds to go with 14 points. Former Sickles High standout John Henson added 10 points for UNC, but he missed on all seven of his free throws.

FSU's largest margin of victory ever over UNC and first home win against the Heels since Jan. 22, 2004, had Hamilton looking forward to both Tuesday's game against Maryland and the bigger picture.

"When you're trying to become a program of significance and move into that upper echelon of the ACC, you've got to be successful against two of the top four winningest programs in the history of college basketball, Duke and North Carolina," he said. "We have to now take this momentum, come back to practice and get a game plan together."

Dulkys, too, talked about getting back to the grind. As for how long he lets his mind linger on his career performance, he couldn't exactly say.

"I have no idea," he said with a smile. "It's never happened before, so we'll see."

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