Love’s 18, Tar Heels’ blistering start sinks Seminoles 94-74

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton shouts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Saturday, February 12, 2022 (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton shouts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Saturday, February 12, 2022 (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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Caleb Love scored 18 points and North Carolina used a dominant first half, including scoring the game’s first 18 points, to earn a 94-74 win over Florida State on Saturday.

Amando Bacot had his 19th double-double with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (18-7, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference). RJ Davis and Brady Manek both added 16 points.

North Carolina had 7 of 10 shots, including three 3s and a three-pointer, while FSU missed its first nine shots with three turnovers before making a free throw at 1:03 p.m. Love had two 3s and Leaky Black had one and one.

Cam’Ron Fletcher scored Florida State’s first field goal at 11:32, making it 24-3. The Seminoles missed 10 shots and had four turnovers, while grabbing just three rebounds, though UNC didn’t provide many opportunities on the boards, shooting 11 of 14 in the first 10 minutes.

It was 62-24 at halftime, the biggest lead the Tar Heels have ever had in a league game. They did so shooting 74.2 percent (23 of 31), their best half in four years, including 9 of 12 from 3-pointers. Love had a career-high five 3s and finished 6 of 8 from range.

Meanwhile, the Seminoles shot 30% with eight turnovers and were passed by 11.

Fletcher scored 16 points with 10 rebounds and RayQuan Evans scored 13 for Florida State (13-11, 6-8), which lost its sixth straight after winning five in a row, including an overtime win over Duke . FSU struggled with injuries and lost leading scorer Caleb Mills (13.3) to an ankle injury 7 1/2 minutes into the game.

Bacot’s field goal to open the second half produced the biggest lead at 64-24. FSU outscored the Tar Heels 50-32 in the second half, when UNC went 3 of 16 from behind the arc and shot 39%.

Florida State is at home to Clemson on Tuesday and North Carolina is at home to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

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