March 10, 2012
Snaer was on fire from 3-point range, hitting four of his five shots from that distance and finishing with a game-best 20 points.
That’s how many players on the roster had won an ACC Tournament game prior to Friday.
FSU missed just seven free throws all game — but more importantly missed just two in the final minutes to preserve the win.
Ian Miller tied his career high thanks to a last-second Miami foul that sent the sophomore to the free-throw line.
With the win, FSU has now beat rival Miami 40 times in the history of the series.
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
ATLANTA, Ga. — Florida State made sure its time in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament will continue and in the process may have effectively ended the season of its in-state rival late Friday night.
The third-seeded Seminoles beat Miami, 82-71, at Philips Arena in a quarterfinals game that was closer than the score may indicate. Likely in need of at least one more win in Atlanta for an NCAA Tournament berth after beating Georgia Tech in the first round, the Hurricanes (19-12) couldn’t stop FSU (22-9) from making its free throws down the stretch.
Clinging to a 62-59 lead with 3:44 left in the game, the Seminoles made 14 of their final 16 attempts from the free-throw line.
Of those final 12 shots from the charity stripe, senior guard Luke Loucks made eight on eight attempts.
“It’s always nice when teams try to foul you and you can make free throws at the end and get stops on the other end,” said guard Michael Snaer, who hit all four of his foul shots in the final moments. “It’s always nice to do that. I think we were really keyed in. I know I was because I knew that any free throw could have meant the game for us.”
Snaer led all scorers with 20 points thanks to more hot shooting from 3-point range. Snaer was 5-of-8 from 3-point range for a Seminoles team that hit nine long-distance shots. Over the past two games, Snaer has made 10 of his 15 attempts from 3-point land.
Snaer was one of five Seminoles to score in double figures as Ian Miller came off the bench to tie his career high with 18 points. Loucks and Bernard James both scored 14 points and Okaro White added 11.
Loucks also had five assists and James had seven rebounds.
The Seminoles outscored the Hurricanes 31-13 in bench points, which helped balance out Miami’s ability to register 20 second-chance points compared to FSU’s four. Florida State also had more assists than turnovers (13:11) — its first positive assist-to-turnover ratio since the Feb. 23 loss to Duke at home.
For the game, the ‘Noles shot 48 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3-point distance.
Malcolm Grant led Miami in scoring with 19 points. The Hurricanes were without Durand Scott, who was ruled eligible by the NCAA prior to tip-off. Scott had scored a combined 29 points in Miami’s two previous games against FSU this year.
Miami cut FSU’s eight-point halftime lead to 43-40 in the second half before the ‘Noles answered with a six-point run. The Hurricanes then chipped away with their own 6-1 run before Snaer hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night to make it 53-46 with 8:40 left in the game.
James’ and-one play then pushed the Seminoles’ lead to 60-52 with 5:25 left before Grant hit a 3-pointer and Kenny Kadji’s jumper with four minutes left had the Hurricanes within three before FSU’s free-throw shooting took over.
Friday’s game ended just a few minutes before midnight so Florida State will have a quick turnaround before it plays against Duke at 3 p.m. Saturday. The No. 2-seed Blue Devils defeated Virginia Tech, 60-56, in the game before the FSU-Miami matchup.
“We’ll have 15 hours and I guess they’ll have 12 hours” to prepare, FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I don’t think it will be that much big of a difference. You can’t worry about those kinds of things this time of year.”