March 6, 2010
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -Luke Loucks didn’t allow Miami much time to celebrate its first lead.
Loucks’ 3-pointer with 1:52 remaining put Florida State ahead as his basket was the final margin in the Seminoles’ 61-60 victory over the Hurricanes Saturday afternoon.
Miami had taken its first lead of the game on Durand Scott’s driving layup with 2:04 remaining. The Hurricanes had rallied from a 10-point deficit with 5:32 remaining and ran off 12 unanswered points.
“When they started on that run, I just kept thinking somebody has to step up and make a shot,” Loucks said. “I give them credit. They played well down the stretch.”
The Hurricanes had three opportunities to retake the lead, including Scott’s missed jumper at the buzzer.
“I was hoping I had enought time to get to the basket but my coach was like ‘shoot,” and I just tried to get it up as soon as possible,” Scott said.
Loucks and Deividas Dulkys each scored 13 points to lead the Seminoles (22-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). Scott was the high scorer for Miami (18-15, 4-12) with 14 points.
“We didn’t play as well as we should have,” Loucks said. “But a win is a win no matter how ugly it is.”
Florida State State could not extend its one-point lead after Miami’s DeQuan Jones blocked Michael Snaer’s shot 11 seconds remaining.
“I obviously was very proud of how hard we fought,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “I wish we could have exerted ourselves a little longer.”
With the Seminoles starters struggling offensively, Loucks and Dulkys picked up the scoring load. Ryan Reid was the only Florida State starter in double figures with 10 points.
“We played a lot of kids early in the season and I said I didn’t think that there was that much separation between several of our players,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Hopefully, we’re the kind of team that will continue to keep winning games by committee.”
Loucks and Dulkys converted six of Florida State’s 10 3-pointers.
“I feel as if we have seven or eight starters on the team,” Dulkys said. “If they take something away, we step it up. We (Loucks and Dulkys) did it this game and and next game somebody is going to step it up.”
Florida State finished the regular season with five victories in its last six games. The Seminoles also swept the season series against Miami for the third time in four years.
“It’s hard to beat teams on the road no matter what place they are in the conference,” Loucks said. “We’re going to build off this, go to the ACC tournament and hopefully make a good run.”
Behind four 3-pointers, Florida State built a 14-point lead in the opening 9:05 of the first half. The Seminoles ran off 10 unanswered points during their early advantage, capped by Xavier Gibson’s 3-pointer with 10:55 remaining for a 19-5 Florida State lead.
But the Hurricanes responded and outscored the Seminoles 14-4 in the next 6:13. Reggie Johnson’s two free throws with 4:42 cut Florida State’s lead to 23-19.
The Hurricanes played without leading scorer Dwayne Collins, who sat out with a tibia stress reaction. Haith said he is unsure whether Collins, who didn’t dress Saturday, will be ready for the ACC tournament.