Dec. 30, 2011
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — History was made at the Donald L. Tucker Center Friday night but the Florida State men’s basketball team surely won’t have any interest in commemorating Dec. 30, 2011 in the future.
Playing to a third overtime for the first time in program history, the Seminoles were upset by Princeton, 75-73, marking the second time this season that FSU (8-5) has lost to an Ivy League school. The ‘Noles fell to a talented Harvard team earlier this season in the Bahamas.
Despite scoring just 10 points in the first half, Florida State outscored the Tigers (7-7) 37-20 in the second to force the first of the three extra periods.
The ‘Noles were ultimately doomed by a poor performance from the free-throw line as they made just 11 of 22 attempts from the charity stripe.
Despite sustaining the first home loss of the season, FSU experienced improved guard play. Junior Michael Snaer posted a team-best 20 points and sophomore Ian Miller, who played his first game of the season last week at Florida, added 17 points.
The Seminoles finished the game shooting 42 percent from the field and the Tigers connected on 41 percent of their shots. Despite committing 19 turnovers, Princeton was paced by 25-point efforts by both Douglas Davis and Ian Hummer.
After shooting just 4-for-24 in the first half, Florida State battled back in the second half and Gibson’s dunk with 46 seconds to go tied the game at 47-47 before Princeton missed a potential game-winning put-back attempt.
In the first extra period, Snaer’s jumper made it 51-49 and gave the Seminoles their first lead of the night. Tied at 53-53 shortly thereafter with 2.6 seconds left, James missed a free throw on the one-and-one attempt that would have likely given FSU the win.
Down three in the second overtime, Miller hit two free throws to cut Princeton’s lead to 60-59 and then made a strong play defensively with the shot clock turned off. Miller’s near steal drew a foul and he went to the line where he made just one to tie the score at 60-60.
With 24 seconds left, the Seminoles’ defense then prevented Princeton from getting off a quality shot to force the record-setting third overtime.
Davis’ second 3-pointer in the third overtime gave Princeton a 68-65 lead with 1:11 and then Hummer’s dunk in transition pushed FSU’s deficit to 70-65. Snaer was then able to hit a clutch 3-pointer to make it a one-possession ballgame but Princeton answered with two free throws and a steal off Luke Loucks’ pass to hang on to the victory.
FSU next welcomes Auburn to Tallahassee for a 6 p.m. game on Jan. 4 before Atlantic Coast Conference play begins for the Seminoles three days later against Clemson.