TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — PJ Savoy scored 18 points, M.J. Walker and Phil Cofer added 14 apiece and Florida State rallied in the second half to defeat Pittsburgh 88-75 on Sunday.
Savoy and Walker were surprise starters after coach Leonard Hamilton decided to sit his two leading scorers — Terance Mann and Braian Angola — who had been struggling as of late. All five of Savoy’s field goals were 3-pointers as he led the Seminoles in scoring for the second time this season.
Walker got his first career start and was 7 of 8 from the foul line as FSU (19-8, 8-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) converted 29 of its 40 free-throw attempts. Mann and Angola would get into the game during the second half.
The Panthers (8-20, 0-15) led 39-38 at halftime after hitting 10 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half but Florida State took the lead with a 9-2 run to start the second half. Pitt was still within three (74-71) with 3:29 remaining but FSU took control with a 7-1 run.
Jared Wilson-Frame and Shamiel Stevenson led Pittsburgh with 17 points each and Parker Stewart added 16. The Panthers have lost 19 straight ACC regular-season games dating to last season.
Pittsburgh built an early 14-7 lead before the Seminoles scored 10 of the next 13 points to tie it at 17-all with 8:42 remaining in the first half. It would be tied two more times and there would be six more lead changes, including a Carr 3-pointer with two seconds remaining that put Pitt up 39-38 at halftime.
Pittsburgh: It was only the third time in ACC play that the Panthers had led at halftime and first time in any road game this season. However they ran out of bodies in the second half as three players fouled out.
Florida State: A loss to the Panthers would have been detrimental to the Seminoles’ NCAA Tournament hopes, but barring a collapse in the final two weeks of the regular season, they have set themselves up well for consecutive NCAA appearances for the first time since 2012.
Pittsburgh has its next two games at home, starting Wednesday against Wake Forest.
Florida State has a week off before going to North Carolina State on Feb. 25.
More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25