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Seminoles secure seeding, little else

National tournament play remains a possibility for the Florida State basketball team, but the 71-68 victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night is unlikely to help much.

By defeating the Yellow Jackets in its final regular-season game, FSU (13-13, 6-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) earned the No.

7 seeding for the ACC tournament. The Seminoles will play North Carolina or Wake Forest in the tourney opener March 11. FSU must finish at least .500 to remain eligible for an NIT invitation, meaning the Seminoles must win at least one game in the ACC tournament.

"I don't care who we play in the tournament," FSU guard Bob Sura said. "I think other teams care if they play us; we have a chance to pull some upsets."

Freshman James Collins knocked down two free throws with 13.5 seconds left to forge a five-point lead for the Seminoles, who have not lost to Georgia Tech since joining the ACC. Collins finished with a career-high 20 points.

Collins was sent to the line after rebounding a missed three-point attempt by Tech's Martice Moore that would have tied the score at 69 with 17 seconds left.

"Collins stepped up and played well," FSU coach Pat Kennedy said. "Since he's been in the starting lineup, he's played as well as any freshman in the league."

Collins put away a strange game that started at 9:30 because of the Leon County Civic Center's commitment to hosting the FHSAA boys basketball final four.

The teams slopped through the first half, committing 21 turnovers. The half also featured a crazy exchange of runs, with FSU opening the game with eight straight points. Tech scored the next 14 points, and then FSU retaliated with 12.

That streakiness ended in the second half. The teams matched baskets until the final six minutes, when Collins helped settle FSU's offense.

Collins scored five points on consecutive baskets to leave FSU up 58-46 with 7:44 remaining.

That lead was never lost, as Sura (17 points) and Chuck Graham made big baskets down the stretch.

"This was a strange game of runs, especially in the first half," Kennedy said. "They made a run, we made a run, they made a run, we made a run. It was just a strange-looking game. I thought the second half was much better than the first half, we played much better."

The Seminoles capitalized on the absence of James Forrest, leading Georgia Tech with 19.4 points per game. Forrest severely sprained an ankle in the 81-69 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday. X-rays showed no break, but there was significant swelling and pain. He sprained the ankle twice earlier this season.

"When you play without James, it really hurts you," Tech coach Bobby Cremins said.

FSU women's coach

signs for one year

FSU women's coach Marynell Meadors agreed to a new one-year contract, athletic director Bob Goin said Wednesday.

Meadors had contacted an attorney to help her work out some disagreements with Goin on the original contract offer. She had hoped to move closer to men's coach Pat Kennedy's $102,000 base, but Goin said Meadors accepted the original contract offer: $63,000. She made $51,000 this season.

"She is a proven winner who has time and again overcome tough challenges throughout her career," Goin said. "I have no doubt she will turn around the fortunes of Lady Seminole basketball."

The women's team has a 6-20 record heading into the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, but Meadors is 117-108 in eight seasons at Florida State. She has a 363-140 career record, including 16 seasons at Tennessee Tech.

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