Scorer's dry spell hinders FSU's run

Tim Pickett led his team in points but didn't get off a shot during the Seminoles' big slump.


Published: Sunday, January 4, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 4, 2004 at 12:34 a.m.

Florida State guard Tim Pickett said he wasn't tired. His coach, however, disagreed.

Pickett had been blistering Florida for nearly 30 minutes Saturday in the O'Connell Center, hitting shots from all angles - and all distances - on the floor. But during a seven-minute stretch of the second half, Pickett suddenly went quiet. So did his teammates. The combination was lethal for FSU.

The Seminoles went without a field goal from the 12:19 mark of the second half to the 5:15 mark. During that time, Pickett, who finished with 25 points, was often a forgotten man.

"There were times I was open, but that's basketball," Pickett said. "You've just got to keep moving without the ball and hope you get it next time."

Pickett, from Daytona Beach Mainland High, was 8-for-13 shooting including 6-for-10 from behind the 3-point line against Florida. Only Anthony Roberson's sensational 28-point performance could overshadow Pickett.

Pickett ended the Seminoles' drought when he nailed a long jumper at the with 5:15 left to cut Florida's lead to 69-56. By then, however, it was too late.

"We didn't come with the intensity like we had in the first half," Pickett said. "We had our focus and then it kind of slipped."

During FSU's seven-minute scoring drought, the Seminoles fell into a spiral of missed free throws, turnovers and missed shots.

"We hit a couple of dead spots," point guard Nate Johnson said. "We missed shots and we had some turnovers."

But what was most perplexing is why Pickett didn't even get off a shot during FSU's biggest dead spot. In fact, he rarely touched the ball even though he had scored 22 points to that point.

"There are going to be times when they are going to miss you," Pickett said. "You've just got to keep playing."

Florida State was playing its third game in six days. It seemed as though a long, emotional game against a constant full-court press wore the Seminoles down. Pickett, however, said that wasn't the case.

"We were still going strong," he said. "It was hard coming back from 13, 14, 15 points."

FSU's second-year coach Leonard Hamilton said he left Pickett in a little too long in the second half. The 6-foot-4 senior played all but four minutes of the game.

"I thought Tim was solid," Hamilton said. "I think we played him too many minutes, though. He looked fatigued but was still capable of scoring some points."

You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

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