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Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2003 12:40 AM EST
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(12) Wake Forest 60, Florida St 56
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
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Florida St. Seminoles
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Ticker) -- No. 12 Wake Forest moved a step closer to its first outright Atlantic Coast Conference title in 40 years, holding on for a 60-56 victory over Florida State.

Vytas Danelius scored 17 points for the Demon Deacons (20-4, 10-3 ACC), including a dunk that made it 60-53 with five seconds remaining.

Wake Forest posted its third straight victory and remained one-half game ahead of Duke and Maryland. The Demon Deacons shared an ACC crown in 1995, but have not won an undisputed title since 1962.

This one was hardly pretty as Wake Forest shot under 40 percent (21-of-53) and fell behind, 42-39, when Florida State's Anthony Richardson hit a 3-pointer with 12:47 remaining.

But the Demon Deacons won it with stifling defense, allowing just three points over the next 12 minutes. Florida State (12-13, 3-11) shot just 30 percent, a season low for a Wake Forest opponent.

The only points for the Seminoles during the 12-minute stretch was a 3-pointer by Tim Pickett that made it 46-45 with 5:06 remaining.

Danelius' dunk made it 53-45 with 1:13 remaining before Florida State's last-minute rally fell short.

Pickett ended the drought for the Seminoles with a 3-pointer that made it 53-48 with 53 seconds left. Following a turnover, Richardson followed in Pickett's miss with a dunk to make it 53-50 with 38 seconds to play.

Justin Gray, who scored 12 points, kept Florida State at bay by converting four straight free throws. After freshman Todd Galloway's 3-pointer made it 56-53 with 20 seconds to go, Gray converted a pair from the line to give Wake Forest a 58-53 lead.

Galloway hit another 3-pointer in the final seconds to account for the final margin.

Josh Howard contributed 14 points for the Demon Deacons, who end regular season play with home games against Clemson and North Carolina and a road game at North Carolina State.

Pickett scored 16 points on 5-of-20 shooting for the Seminoles, who lost for the seventh time in nine games. Richardson and Nate Johnson chipped in with nine points apiece.

Florida State needs to beat Virginia and Duke in its last two games to be eligible for the NIT in coach Leonard Hamilton's first season.

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