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Red-hot NC State routs No. 25 Florida State for fourth consecutive ACC win

Hot shooting has gone from a surprising streak to the norm for N.C. State.

For the fifth game in a row, the Wolfpack shot 50 percent or better and, on Sunday night, it brought N.C. State a milestone win.

The Wolfpack led by as many as 20 points in the first half, making 56.7 percent of its shots over the first 20 minutes, on the way to a 92-72 ACC basketball win over No. 25 Florida State that gave N.C. State 20 wins on the season.

The Wolfpack (20-9, 10-6 ACC) won its fourth consecutive ACC regular-season game for the first time since 2006.

“What a good game,” NC State coach Kevin Keatts said. “I thought our guys played a really good game from start to finish.”

By shooting 50 percent for the game, N.C State has shot 50 percent or better in five consecutive ACC games for the first time since February 1986.

The win earns N.C. State a bye into the second round of the ACC Tournament, which starts on March 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Wolfpack’s first tournament game will be no earlier than March 7.

Allerik Freeman scored 25 points to lead the Wolfpack, his third consecutive game with 20 points or more.

N.C. State made 13 of 22 3-pointers. Freeman was 4 of 5 behind the 3-point line.

Torin Dorn scored 19 points while Markell Johnson added 12 as N.C. State never trailed. Omer Yurtseven added 13 points and sharp-shooting reserve guard Sam Hunt made all four of his 3-pointers while scoring 14 points.

Florida State (19-9, 8-8 ACC) shot 47.4 percent while missing all 15 of its 3-point shots.

The Wolfpack took control in the early minutes, jumping to a 12-4 lead on a Freeman 3-pointer.

“I feel like we set the tone,” Freeman said. “We jumped out on them. Early on we took them out of their rhythm and made them play at our speed, that really helped in our favor.”

Florida State cut the Wolfpack lead to 23-17 when Phil Cofer hit a free throw to convert a 3-point play with 9:46 left until halftime.

But N.C. State took off from there, unleashing a 15-4 run to build a 38-21 lead. Johnson hit two 3-pointers during the strech and Freeman added another.

Dorn’s basket with 2:14 left in the first half gave N.C. State its first 20-point lead of the game at 45-25.

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