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Noles "punished' by white-hot Wolfpack

Blowing a lead and losing at Florida stung. Poor execution at the wire against North Carolina, Miami and Duke led to heartbreaking defeats.

Florida State's 86-64 loss at N.C. State on Wednesday night? Just chalk it up to being "one of those nights."

The Seminoles couldn't wait to forget about a game that for all intent and purpose was over after the Wolfpack (20-5, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) closed the first half on a 16-0 run over four minutes to lead, 45-27.

Though the Seminoles (15-7, 5-6) played hard in the second half, they couldn't get closer than 15 points as the Wolfpack shot 63.6 percent from the field, its best-shooting game against a conference opponent in nearly 10 years.

"They did a very good job of executing their offense," said FSU coach Leonard Hamilton, whose club hadn't lost by more than eight points all season. "When they got shots, they knocked them down. You have to give credit to them for making every open look."

N.C. State didn't make them all, but it seemed that way. The Wolfpack, coming off a loss at Georgia Tech on Sunday, made nine of its 15 3-point attempts in the first half, then patiently picked its spots in the second , making four of eight more.

"They're an experienced team that punished us every chance they got," said center Alexander Johnson, whose 15 points led the Seminoles. "You're going to have at least one game like this year a year. Hopefully, this is it for us."

Florida State trailed 6-0 after two Wolfpack 3-pointers less than a minute into the game. But the Seminoles rebounded to within two on a Uche Echefu free throw with 4:06 remaining in the half to trail 29-27.

Consecutive FSU turnovers led to 3-pointers by Engin Atsur and Andrew Brackman. Hamilton called timeout, but it didn't help. The Seminoles had four missed field-goal attempts and two more turnovers, followed by two missed Todd Galloway free throws.

"It happened so quick," said Al Thornton, who hit 5 of 14 shots for 14 points. "We turned the ball over, they made threes on the other end, and just like that we're out of the game."

A very succinct Hamilton offered a shorter summation:

"There lies a nice little butt-kicking."