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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Gives FSU `Old-Fashioned Whipping'

Instead, the sellout crowd had its eyes focused on the four big screen televisions showing replays of Julius Peppers' alley-oop dunk 13 seconds earlier.

Second-ranked North Carolina was well on its way to a

95-67 victory against the Seminoles, and Crawford's shot was -- at best -- trivial.

Those who saw Crawford's make knew it cut UNC's lead to 25 points. But if the sounds showering down on the court were any indication, few people witnessed the ball actually swish through the net.

A thunderous roar filled the Smith Center at that moment, just like it had when the screens showed the dunk Peppers threw home against Wake Forest in January.

Peppers' bucket capped a 24-5 run that helped UNC turn a tight game with less than 12 minutes to play into a blowout. UNC (22-3, 12-1 in the ACC) limited the Seminoles to two made field goals in 15 attempts during that

5-minute, 54-second stretch to cruise to its largest win since Jan. 13.

"It's one of those games where you got a good, old-fashioned whipping," FSU coach Steve Robinson said.

The Seminoles (7-19, 2-11) fell victim to a UNC team that was upset by the

10-point loss it suffered against Clemson on Sunday. North Carolina's demeanor Thursday reflected a defensive mentality that was lacking against the Tigers, who scored 45 second-half points against the Tar Heels.

The Seminoles, who shot 38.8 percent for the game, had to bear the brunt of UNC's renewed intensity. They became the 20th consecutive Tar Heel opponent to shoot less than 50 percent from the field.

"We were very aggressive defensively today," UNC coach Matt Doherty said. "I don't think we were against Clemson."

The Tar Heels, particularly Joseph Forte, also attacked on the offensive end. Forte scored 22 of his game-high 36 points in the second half and was one of four UNC starters to finish in double figures.

Forte scored 14 points in the first 8:13 after halftime, but Florida State trailed by nine points with 11:31 to play.

Six Tar Heels contributed to the UNC spurt that ended with the Tar Heels leading 83-55. Jason Capel, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, scored eight points during the run.

The Tar Heels hit 56.7 percent of their shots in the second half and finished the game above 50 percent for the sixth time in the last 10 games. UNC had shot a season-low 38.5 percent against Clemson.

"We just wanted to come into the game strong, settle down on defense and force turnovers -- wear them down," Capel said. "That got us easy looks."

The Seminoles, who trailed 36-26 at halftime, hung tough even though they turned the ball over 17 times and made 11-of-29 attempts in the first 20 minutes.

Florida State center Nigel Dixon didn't shine statistically, but the 378-pound sophomore left a void when he went to the bench with foul trouble in the first half.

The Tar Heels outscored Florida State 11-0 in the first 7 minutes, 19 seconds Dixon was out of the game. UNC went to the half with a 27-11 scoring advantage with Dixon on the bench.

Dixon scored four points and pulled down three rebounds in the first 3:02 of the game. He finished with five points, six rebounds and three fouls in 15 minutes.

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Said UNC center Brendan Haywood, "Every time he backed down, I thought I'd get a concussion the way he was throwing those elbows around."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.