NC State

NC State’s Sam Hunt catches fire late against Florida State

Sam Hunt only had two points in the first half against No. 25 Florida State, but he woke up after the break.

Hunt made four straight 3s in the second half, his last one giving N.C. State a 78-53 lead and Hunt 14 points. The grad transfer from North Carolina A&T has shot a career-high 39 percent from behind the line this season. This is the fifth time this season Hunt has hit at least four three-pointers in one game. Hunt finished with 14 points in the 92-72 win. He is 46-for-110 on three-pointers this season.

“My teammates were able to find me in open spots,” Hunt said after the game. “When they find me I just have to have my feet ready and be ready to shoot it. I (saw) one go in and the other ones felt good too.”

Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts said Hunt is shooting at a big basket this late in the season. The Greensboro native has gone 8-for-8 from three his last two games, connecting on 76.9 percent of 3s in the previous three games before the Florida State contest. Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton said his team was well aware of Hunt, but the veteran guard was able to find a way to get the ball in his hands and see his shots go through.

“It wasn’t like we didn’t know who Sam Hunt was,” Hamilton said. “We obviously knew that he was the shooter, but he had two baskets in transition before we could ever get to him. He made us pay every time.”

Hunt has scored in double figures seven times this season and each time he has hit at least three from behind the three-point line. He has only attempted eight two-point field goals all season. N.C. State shot 59 percent from three (13-for-22) and Hunt has led a sudden resurgence of long range bombs from the Wolfpack.

“Shots are falling,” Hunt said. “I’m still preparing before practice with workouts. My teammates are doing a great job of finding me when I am open, and my coaching staff and teammates believe in me, that’s all it is.”

Keatts joked that he became a better coach because he got Hunt to take a defensive charge. But Keatts couldn’t joke about how big a role Hunt played in win No. 20.

“Guys are shooting the ball well,” Keatts said. “We are getting the right guys to take the shots and we’re not forcing the shots.”

Jonas Pope IV: 919-419-6501, @JEPopeIV

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