Johnson hits career high and leads Wake Forest past Florida State
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)—James Johnson scored 21 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and Wake Forest remained unbeaten at home with a 74-57 win over Florida State on Sunday.
Johnson, a freshman, overcame early foul trouble by dominating the second half. He spearheaded a 13-0 run to put the Demon Deacons (12-5, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) ahead to stay, then hit a 3-pointer and had a steal and dunk to put Wake Forest ahead 68-55 with 4:48 left.
Johnson, who added nine rebounds, hit 10 of 15 shots, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range as Wake Forest snapped a two-game losing streak by finally getting hot from the outside.
Coming in as one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation at 28 percent, the Demon Deacons shot 1 of 8 from behind the arc in the first half. With Johnson leading the way, Wake Forest connected on 5 of 7 long-range shots in the second half to improve to 11-0 at home.
Jeff Teague added 12 points and Harvey Hale scored 10 for Wake Forest, which recovered from road losses to Boston College and Maryland to win its ACC-best 15th straight home game dating to last season.
Ralph Mims had 17 points, Uche Echefu scored all 13 of his points in the first half and Toney Douglas came off the bench to score 10 on 4-of-13 shooting for Florida State (12-7, 1-3), which lost its third straight game.
Johnson went to the bench after picking up two fouls in the first five minutes and Florida State immediately went on a 7-0 run. Echefu, who was held to six points and seven rebounds in the loss to Duke Wednesday, dominated early, including a 3-pointer that put the Seminoles ahead 23-14.
The Demon Deacons, despite shooting 37 percent in the first half, rallied to tie the game before Florida State settled for a 31-28 halftime lead.
After the Seminoles scored the first point of the second half, Johnson had a putback and a 3-pointer to put Wake Forest ahead for good.
Johnson’s best basket of the day was a coast-to-coast drive that included a head fake in the lane before a thunderous one-handed dunk made it 61-50. Florida State’s Isaiah Swann went over 1,000 points in his career with a driving layup on the next possession, before Johnson’s 3 and dunk put it away.