Miami beats FSU
Seminoles eliminated from regular season title
Unable to defend the perimeter again, Florida State never managed to take advantage of the hole in the middle of Miami's lineup.
Now, the 15th-ranked Seminoles have their first losing streak of the Atlantic Coast Conference season.
Durand Scott scored 17 points and Miami hit seven 3-pointers in the second half to beat Florida State 78-62 on Sunday night, snapping a six-game losing streak to its in-state rival.
The Hurricanes went 7 of 13 from beyond the arc in the second half and 9 of 20 overall, three days after No. 5 Duke shot 13 of 28 on 3s in a victory at Florida State.
"For the second time in a row, teams have shot the lights out against us," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Sometimes teams don't shoot their normal percentage against you. This was not one of those days. They were exceptionally accurate from the perimeter."
Michael Snaer scored 20 points on a sore ankle to lead Florida State (19-9, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had won 11 of 12 against Miami.
Snaer left for the locker room in the final 5:07 of the first half with an injured ankle.
"I just tweaked it a bit. It's been bothering me all year," he said. "I just had to go in and get it more taped. I think it affected my play a little bit today. I just had to fight through it.
"When I came back in they had the momentum and kept running with it."
Kenny Kadji had 15 points for the short-handed Hurricanes (17-10, 8-6), who pulled into a tie with Virginia for fourth place in the conference standings.
Miami played without starting center Reggie Johnson, declared ineligible by the school an hour before the game after an investigation revealed members of his family had received benefits not allowed under NCAA rules. According to a statement released by the university, "Johnson was unaware of the benefits and his family was told they were permissible by a member of the former basketball coaching staff."
Miami is seeking a quick resolution from the NCAA in an attempt to reinstate Johnson, who is averaging 10.6 points per game.
"It's my understanding that Reggie and his family didn't know of any impermissible benefit," coach Jim Larranaga said. "It was somebody else."
The Seminoles rallied from a 59-42 deficit with 5:07 remaining and got within 65-58 on Snaer's two free throws with 2:39 left.
Scott, Kadji and Shane Larkin each hit two free throws in the next 58 seconds as Miami increased the lead to 71-58. Larkin finished with 13 points.
"We just tried to put everything on the line and try to claw our way back," Snaer said. "They knew we were going to come back with that type of firepower and aggressiveness on defense."
The Hurricanes expanded a four-point halftime lead and outscored the Seminoles 14-8 in the first 5:15 of the second half. Rion Brown hit the fourth 3-pointer in Miami's early second-half spurt to increase the lead to 38-28.
"I thought in the second half, they got their momentum going with their 3s," Hamilton said. "That kind of gave them confidence and we couldn't get anything going offensively."
The Hurricanes rallied from an eight-point deficit and took the lead for good with a 13-2 run in the final 4:34 of the first half. Scott scored seven points during the surge and his layup with 22 seconds remaining gave the Hurricanes a 24-20 lead at halftime.
"It's our rivalry game," Scott said. "To get a quality win like that, it's great. And I'm sure the rest of the team feels the same way."
Okaro White scored four points during an 8-0 run for the Seminoles midway through the first half. White's basket with 5:37 remaining capped the spurt and gave Florida State an 18-11 lead.
Miami was held scoreless for a 7:03 stretch until Scott made the second of two free throw attempts with 4:34 left to cut the Seminoles' lead to 18-12.
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