Wilkes scores 19 points, No. 5 Florida St. beats Notre Dame
Wyatt Wilkes came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points as Florida State held on for an 85-84 win over Notre Dame on Saturday night, the Seminoles’ 10th straight victory.
The redshirt sophomore hit 5 of 6 shots from 3-point range and easily surpassed his previous career high of 14 points. Wilkes played nearly 19 minutes, seeing more playing time because forward Patrick Williams (toe) missed the game.
“That’s kind of the strength of our team,” guard Trent Forrest said. “You never know who can come in and give us that spark. Tonight, it was Wyatt. They were leaving him open. And he’s a shooter. That’s target practice for him. He was shooting with confidence.”
Wilkes’ hard work in practice translated into a pressure-packed game. His 3-pointers, as well as those from Anthony Polite (3 of 5) and M.J. Walker (2 of 3) helped put the Seminoles in front by double figures for much of the second half.
“Wyatt Wilkes gave us a tremendous lift,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “He's showing his potential.”
But Florida State quickly saw its considerable lead dwindle. The Seminoles missed their last nine shots from the floor, leaving the door open just enough for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish had a few chances in the final moments, including Dane Goodwin’s desperation 3-pointer that was short at the buzzer.
Trent Forrest and RaiQuan Gray each scored 13 points for Florida State (17-2, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which has also won 10 consecutive home games in 2019-20 and 19 straight victories at the Donald L. Tucker Center dating to last season.
Prentiss Hubb scored 24 points, knocking down 5 of 11 3-pointers, and John Mooney scored 16 points for Notre Dame (11-8, 2-6). But Mooney pulled down just five rebounds, halting his streak of double-doubles at 12 games.
Notre Dame was able to get to the free-throw line with frequency, making shot 22 of 27 (81.5%) from the line. But Juwan Durham, Mooney, Hubb and Goodwin all missed shots in the final 16 seconds.
“I'm proud of our group,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “Disappointed though. We had chances there at the end.”
Balsa Koprivica returned after missing four games due to injury for Florida State. The freshman center had six points and six rebounds.
Notre Dame led by 11 points just minutes into the game, but Florida State went on an 18-0 run - helped by Wilkes’ and Walker’s 3-pointers - to take a 47-37 lead at the half.
Florida State may find it difficult to move up any more now that it's in the top 5, but 10 straight wins speaks volumes about the team's resume and the Seminoles could pick up a spot in the next poll.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish used just seven players and didn’t have the depth to keep up with the Seminoles, who had a 40-12 bench scoring advantage.
Florida State: The Seminoles had a 23-11 rebounding edge early, including eight offensive boards that led to 10 second-chance points.
Brey was critical of some of the crew's calls, especially late in the game. He questioned a traveling call and a technical on the Notre Dame bench.
"We're treated by the officials like we haven't brought football as a full member, but yet we get a full share of the ACC Network TV," Brey said. "Are you kidding me? ... I'm frustrated, man. ... You got to be kidding me, man. We're in the league, too. C'mon."
Brey walked off the interview podium and continued to criticize the officials, specifically mentioning referee John Gaffney.
FORREST FOR 1,000
Florida State’s Trent Forrest scored his 1,000th point on a dunk in the first half. The senior guard is the 48th player in Seminoles history to surpass the milestone.
“All of my hard work is starting to pay off,” Forrest said. “I’m just glad to say that I accomplished it.��
Notre Dame: Hosts Wake Forest on Wednesday.
Florida State: Plays at Virginia on Tuesday.
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