The Daily Nole

25-Year Nole Anniversary: Collins’ Jumper Leads FSU Past Wake Forest

Photo courtesy of athletics

At 10-8 and 3-6 in ACC play, Florida State was desperate for a win on this day 25 years ago. The Seminoles would get the win on a big shot from James Collins in the game’s final minute.

No. 11 Wake Forest was riding high at 14-4 and 5-3 in ACC play as it arrived at the Leon County Civic Center on Feb. 8, 1995. The Seminoles would lead by as many as eight in the second half, but a late run by the Demon Deacons forced Collins to play the role of hero in a 69-67 victory for the home team.

Things started well for Wake Forest as an 8-2 run opened up a 29-21 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the first half. The Seminoles however, would close the half strong. 3-pointers from Avery Curry, Derrick Carroll and then Bob Sura at the first-half buzzer cut the lead to 36-35 at the break.

It took FSU less than five minutes to take the lead in the second half. After a 3-pointer by Wake Forest’s Tony Rutland tied the game at 44, Collins answered with a triple at the other end to ignite a 9-3 run and the Seminoles never trailed again.

It appeared as though there would be little drama as Sura’s 3-point play pushed the lead to eight with 3:22 remaining. Wake Forest would not go quietly as Rutland followed up a trey with a 4-point play to cut the lead to 67-64. Wake guard Randolph Childress would cap a 10-2 with a free throw and then a lay-in with less than a minute to play.

With the score tied 67-67, the Seminoles bled almost the entire shot clock before a Collins jumper with 22 seconds remaining put FSU back in front. Childress would get a decent look from deep on the other end, but it was no good as time expired.

Sura finished with a game-high 19 points in the victory and five assists. Collins finished with 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Corey Louis added 13 points and 10 rebounds for FSU. Childress paced Wake Forest with 18 points. Tim Duncan added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Demon Deacons.

With the win, FSU improved to 11-8, but would win just once more that season. The loss would serve as the last defeat for Wake Forest before winning the ACC and ultimately falling in the Sweet 16. It came on this day 25 years ago.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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