- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Imani Wright and sixth-ranked Florida State seem to like playing on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Wright scored 22 points and the Seminoles improved to 2-0 in league road games by beating North Carolina 90-77 on Thursday night.

Ivey Slaughter added 16 points for the Seminoles (14-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 49 percent, controlled the inside and ran off the first eight points of the third quarter to lead by as many as 19.

“They do a great job of staying focused either way,” coach Sue Semrau said about playing on the road. “To have two road wins and a home loss is a little bit odd, but certainly we’re thrilled to win on the road.”

Wright, who was averaging 11.1 points, had 19 last week in a win at Miami and had another big day by making 9 of 16 shots.

“I think there’s a lot of things I can do to contribute and help the team,” Wright said. “So it’s just being confident and doing those and then playing within the offense.”

The bigger Seminoles finished with a 37-30 rebounding advantage, doubled UNC’s guard-dependent lineup on the offensive glass (16-8) and scored 19 second-chance points.

Florida State also finished with a 44-24 edge in points in the paint, with plenty of looks coming from point-blank range while UNC is far more reliant on the 3-pointer.

Stephanie Watts scored 19 points for the Tar Heels (11-4, 0-2), who also shot 49 percent. But with FSU controlling the boards, the Seminoles got plenty of extra looks (18 more shots) while also scoring 17 points off turnovers to keep UNC in catch-up mode all night.

UNC cut a 19-point deficit in the final 5 minutes to 84-77 in the final minute, but got no closer.

“While they’re big, they’re all mobile so they were getting up and down the court,” Watts said. “I think we were able to fast-break some, but on the plus size for them, they’re big and can move pretty well so we were not able to just run them completely.”


Florida State: The Seminoles were coming off Monday’s home loss to North Carolina State - which had just upset then-No. 2 Notre Dame - to snap a program record-tying 12-game winning streak. But they led just about the entire way in this one and have won 13 of their last 14 games following a loss.

“I think they all really bought into taking a look and holding each other accountable in a way that maybe falls off after you start feeling good after (12) in a row,” Semrau said.

North Carolina: The quartet of Watts, Destinee Walker, Jamie Cherry and Paris Kea can provide plenty of perimeter scoring punch, but the Tar Heels are going to have trouble against opponents with any size - and that showed here. They also didn’t help themselves with 18 turnovers.

“We’re thin in the post and in our size,” UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “But we fight hard and we did OK out there. I’m proud of our four guards. They’re just going to continue to get better and better. But the size is a factor and the rebounding.”


Walker had averaged 19.8 points over the past four games, then had 16 in this one with three 3-pointers before fouling out in the final minute.


FSU’s Brittany Brown flirted with a triple-double, finishing with nine points, eight rebounds and 10 assists to go with four steals in 32 minutes.


Florida State: The Seminoles host No. 13 Duke on Sunday.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels host Virginia on Sunday.


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap


More AP college basketball: https://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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