CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Seminoles.com) — Florida State walked away with a season sweep over in-state rival Miami after a 78-66 victory on Sunday night in Coral Gables, Fla.
After its season-opening dismantling of rival Florida, and then defeating Miami (9-10, 2-5) twice in an 18-day span, Florida State (15-5, 3-4) secured a season-sweep of its in-state rivals for the second time in three seasons.
Fresh off of a red-hot performance that saw the Seminoles hit 10 three-point shots in a win against Clemson, Florida State hit a season-best 12 shots from beyond the arc.
Sophomore M.J. Walker, who had entered Sunday night shooting 33.9 percent from 3-point range, led the Seminoles with a season-high 22 points on a career-best six of seven 3-point shots.
Walker, who has hit eight of his last nine three-pointers after beginning ACC play 2-20 from deep, scored in double-figures for the second time in three games and earned his second career 20-point performance.
On its way to shooting a season-best 56 percent from the field and 60 percent from beyond the arc, Florida State came out firing from the opening tip. In the game’s first 4:30, the Noles jumped to a 14-5 lead before a timeout was even called.
Senior Christ Koumadje sparked the run to start the game by scoring eight points and connecting all four of his field goals from the floor. He showcased an arsenal of offensive post moves by recording a dunk and three hook shots on Florida State’s first 10 offensive possessions.
Koumadje finished with nine points, four rebounds and a block in just 11 minutes of action, as he was hampered by foul trouble throughout the night.
And senior guard PJ Savoy began the 3-point barrage by connecting on two tres.
After Koumadje opened the scoring with a dunk, Savoy pulled up five feet beyond the 3-point line to sink the triple.
A few possessions later, while up 9-3, Savoy connected on his second 3-pointer off of an assist by junior guard Trent Forrest, extending the lead 12-3.
Savoy, a Las Vegas, Nev., product, finished Sunday with seven points, two rebounds and a steal on two of four shooting from deep. Savoy continued to climb the FSU record books, as his two 3-point shots moved him to 15th in school history with 121 career 3-pointers.
After Miami closed the gap to 30-27 with 5:27 left in the first half, Florida State used an ACC season-high 15-1 run to finish out the half.
Redshirt sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele led the Seminoles throughout the first half, as he scored 11 points, secured five rebounds and a block on four of five shooting, including connecting on his one 3-point attempt.
As he finished with 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks, Kabengele has been on a tear throughout the ACC gauntlet. The third year performer out of Canada recorded his third straight game of at least 17 points and has scored at least 17 in four of his last five games.
Throughout the five-game stretch, Kabengele has averaged 18.6 points per game on 57.4 percent shooting from the floor, 44.4 percent from 3-point range and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line while averaging 22.8 minutes.
Fresh from taking a 45-28 lead into halftime, Miami began to chip away at Florida State’s lead, bringing the score to 55-43 with 11:29 left in the game.
After Miami’s 6-0 run, senior forward Terance Mann put his foot down on the Hurricanes as he continued to prove why he is one of the best all-around performers in the ACC.
Mann pulled up on the wing to knock down a 3-point shot, bringing the game to 58-43. A few possessions later, he would sky for an offensive put-back poster, scoring the Noles’ next five points.
The ‘do-it-all’ forward finished with his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career as he finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists on four of eight shooting and a perfect two of two from beyond the arc.
Mann has expanded his range exponentially his senior season, as he has hit five of nine 3-pointers (55.6 percent) in his last three games and has hit more 3-point shots in 20 games this season (16) than he did in 34 games as a junior (13) and in 69 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons (11).
Up 71-60 with 2:09 left in regulation, Walker put the finishing touches on a season-best night. Looking to extend his career-high to seven three-pointers made, Walker knocked down a jumper with a toe on the line. He would follow a couple of possessions later by hitting two free throws, putting the game out of reach.
Florida State turns to a six-day stretch in which they are idle during ACC play. The Seminoles return back to action on Saturday, February 2 in the Donald L. Tucker Center, as they take on Georgia Tech in one of two regular season meetings against the Yellow Jackets.
The game begins at Noon and will be televised on Raycom Sports. Tickets are still available through Seminoles.com.