Dec. 14, 2003
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Anthony Richardson scored 15 points, including
five in a game-ending 13-0 run that helped Florida State match its best start
in school history by beating instate rival Miami 67-58 on Sunday.
The win was coach Leonard Hamilton’s second in as many seasons against his
former team. This one was sweeter, though, coming in his return to the school
where he spent 10 years.
He now has the Seminoles (8-0) off to their best start, matching what they
did to open the 1977-78 and 1988-89 seasons.
Showing Hamilton’s penchant for intense defense, Florida State forced six
turnovers and held Miami (5-3) scoreless over the final seven minutes – a
stretch that proved to be the difference in the game.
The ‘Canes led 58-54 before missing their final seven shots.
Florida State’s leading scorer, Tim Pickett, picked up two early fouls and
was scoreless in the first half. But he scored 12 points after the break and
started the comeback with a steal and a layup with 4:28 remaining.
Alexander Johnson had a dunk, Richardson hit a free throw and Johnson added
a layup to make it 61-58. Richardson and Pickett combined to go for 6-for-6
from the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the victory.
Miami had three consecutive chances to take a lead trailing 59-58, but
Darius Rice had a turnover and then Armondo Surratt missed a layup and a
Rice led the Hurricanes with 20 points despite back spasms that cost him to
miss several practices in the past week. Surratt added 15.
Hamilton showed little emotion in his return. In his final three years at
Miami, the Hurricanes went 39-13 in the Big East and advanced to three straight
NCAA tournaments – including an improbable run to the Sweet 16 in 2000.
After that season, then-Washington Wizards president Michael Jordan lured
Hamilton to the professional ranks. But Hamilton resigned after going 19-63 in
his first season.
He was out of coaching until March 2002, when the Seminoles hired him to
rebuild a program with four consecutive losing seasons.