Feb. 6, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -Sophomore Luke Loucks came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points to lead Florida State to a 71-65 win over Miami on Saturday night.
“Loucks made some big shots,” Haith shrugged. “The numbers coming in wouldn’t have indicated he’d have that kind of night.”
Loucks hit five of seven field goals, including three of five attempts from 3-point distance, grabbed five rebounds and had three assists _ one on a spectacular bounce pass to Michael Snaer during a 13-2 first-half run that erased an early Miami lead.
“I think it bothered him that people were backing off on him,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Loucks hit his first five shots, including three from long range.
“I didn’t surprise myself,” Loucks said. “It was good to get the monkey off my back. Things just clicked tonight and the shots started falling.”
Solomon Alabi’s layup 6 minutes into the second half gave the Seminoles a 42-40 lead and they never trailed again, leading by as many as a dozen points at 59-47.
Florida State (17-6, 5-4) led 32-31 at the half on a Loucks’ jumper that beat the buzzer. Loucks also added five rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes of playing time.
Chris Singleton added 10 points for Florida State, which bounced back from a 71-67 home loss to Maryland on Thursday. The Seminoles desperately needed the win after losing its second conference home game.
James Dews led Miami (16-7, 2-7) with 15 points and Dwayne Collins added 11.
Miami, which hasn’t won at Florida State since 2006 and has dropped seven of the last eight in the series, has lost six straight ACC road games this season.
The Seminoles opened a 10-point lead at 53-43 on a spectacular slam dunk by 6-foot-11 Xavier Gibson, who went around a defender on a reverse spin move.
Loucks and Gibson sparked the Seminoles to a 32-31 halftime lead with a jumper by Loucks beating the halftime buzzer. Gibson finished with eight points.
“We keep finding ways to win with different players stepping up,” Hamilton said. “Luke was the ringleader, no doubt about that.
“Hopefully, one of these days, all of them will step up because we’re going to need that,” Hamilton said.
Miami had its biggest lead at 22-15 on a pair of Collins free throws, before Loucks and Gibson led a 13-2 run that gave Florida State a 28-24 advantage.
“The sleeping giant woke up tonight,” Hamilton said about Gibson, whom he has frequently said has as much potential as any of his players.
“I feel the pressure to produce,” said Gibson, who has struggled for much of the season. “Those first two baskets really helped me relax.”
Snaer, who made his first start, and Alabi each scored nine points. The 7-1 Alabi scored all of his points in the second half.
Snaer replaced slumping sophomore Deividas Dulkys in the starting lineup.