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January 14, 2012

FSU crushes Heels

The Florida State sports publicity department knew what it was talking about when it predicted the Seminoles would defeat third-ranked Carolina in Tallahassee on Saturday.

The Seminoles did more than win; they humbled the Tar Heels with a resounding 90-57 victory.

"We had no answers for them on the court," Williams said. "I had no answers for them on the sideline. I did the worst job of coaching the team that I have ever done, the worst job of preparing the team to play that I've ever done. I've got to do a heck of a lot better than that."

FSU guard Deividas Dulkys and his game-high 32 points was the biggest issue for which UNC had no answer. He went 12-of-14 from the field, 8-of-10 from 3-point range and almost single-handily buried the Tar Heels.

"The Dulkys youngster, I thought was sensational," Williams said. "He came into the game shooting 30 percent from [the 3-point line]. But he's 8-from-10. You have to congratulate him. It was a great, great performance. My only concern was that he was so open when he was shooting.

"There is no way he should be that open, but congratulate them, congratulate [FSU coach Leonard Hamilton] and his staff for what they did. It was so much better than what I did."

Just before the end of the game, Hamilton and Williams conferred about the crowd rushing the floor after the game. They agreed it would be safer if Williams took his players not on the court for the final seconds and head to the locker. Once the game ended moments later, the stands did clear as the students and fans rushed to celebrate huge victory for Florida State basketball.

"I went to talk to Leonard, and I had already talked to one of the referees when he was over there," Williams said. "It was almost Leonard's suggestion. He's a quality person."

Carolina senior Tyler Zeller played the best of any Tar Heel. He gave a great effort, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked four shots.

FSU played much harder, much smarter and together far better than a sluggish, ragged-looking UNC club that gave its weakest performance of the season.

The Seminoles' shot 3-pointers as if they were layups, and UNC shot layups as if there was not a rim on the backboards. UNC went 4-of-21 from 3-point range.

"Every phase of the game, Florida State made us look like a bunch of junior-high guys," Williams said.

This game resembled the loss at Georgia Tech a year ago, when Williams decided to bench former Tar Heel point guard Larry Drew II and start then-freshman Kendall Marshall.

"After today's game, there is no facet that we don't need to work on," Williams said. "From free throws to box-outs to guarding the ball to help-side defense to not turning it over, we need to improve."

Carolina did little right. The Tar Heels fumbled the ball throughout the game and just did not appear mentally prepared to play this one.

Florida State (11-6, 2-1) knocked the Tar Heels (14-2, 1-1 in the ACC) around with a more physical, determined effort at both ends of the court.

The longer the game lasted, the less the Tar Heels worked together on offense to cut the deficit. Players reverted to trying to go one-on-one instead of moving the ball for the best possible shot.

"It definitely goes back to poise," Williams said. "There is no question about that. Our guys did not lie down, but we have to do a better job of being aggressive getting through screens, and being more aggressive better screens ourselves."

The view of Marshall sitting on the bench near end with his head covered by a towel told the story of this day.

"It goes back to coaching," Williams said. "The coach has to do a better job."

Florida State said it was going to win this game beforehand, and it did so in convincing fashion.

With a little more than three minutes remaining and UNC trailing by more than 30 points, Williams pulled Marshall, benching him alongside John Henson, who probably had his poorest game of the season.

"It was a total breakdown from the North Carolina head coach," Williams said.


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