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Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Florida
Florida State hangs on to beat Notre Dame 74-70
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) John Butler had 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocks - all career highs - to lead Florida State to a 74-70 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
Butler, a freshman, also had a career-best four 3-pointers for Florida State (16-13, 9-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) to keep the Fighting Irish (21-9, 14-5) from clinching the No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament and their first-ever victory in Tallahassee in six visits.
RayQuan Evans, Anthony Polite and Tanor Ngom scored 12 points each for the Seminoles with Evans adding seven rebounds and five assists.
Blake Wesley scored 21 points, Paul Atkinson Jr. had 17 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season and Prentiss Hubb added 10 points for Notre Dame.
The Seminoles were without ACC freshman of the week and second-leading scorer Matthew Cleveland, sidelined by a non-COVID illness. Cleveland had a last-second 3-pointer to beat Virginia 64-63 in FSU's previous game. FSU did get Polite back after he missed the last seven games following surgery for a fractured wrist and he came through with a 3-pointer for a five-point lead with 46.8 seconds left.
Atkinson responded with a three-point play before Evans made two free throws with 9.7 seconds left. Butler blocked Wesley on the other end as time expired.
The Seminoles, who opened the game with five 3-pointers in the first four minutes but trailed 44-39 at halftime, made four in the first five minutes of the second half to grab a 53-48 edge after trailing by five at halftime and clung to the lead.
FSU made 12 of 29 from the arc, matching its best in ACC action this season. Notre Dame missed all 10 of its second-half 3-point tries.
The Irish are in a two-way tie for second place with North Carolina, who they beat in their only regular-season meeting. FSU is tied for eighth with Syracuse.
Notre Dame is host to Pitt and Florida State is home against North Carolina State in regular-season finales on Saturday.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Updated March 2, 2022