Friday, March 9, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Florida State 82, Miami 71
By Edward Aschoff
ATLANTA -- Florida State took the season series with Miami and advanced to the semifinals of the ACC tournament with an 82-71 victory Friday.
The Seminoles out-ran, out-muscled and outplayed the Hurricanes in the first half, outscoring the Hurricanes by nine and connecting on 7 of 12 3-pointers. FSU got a bit sluggish to start the second half, but never let its lead dip below three points in the second frame.
For the second consecutive game, Miami was awful shooting the ball in the first half, but unlike their first-round win over Georgia Tech, the Hurricanes were unable to go on a scoring spree in the second half, allowing FSU to keep a consistent lead.
One reason for Miami's shortcomings offensively was the fact that the Canes were without leading scorer Durand Scott, who was ruled ineligible before the game for receiving impermissible benefits.
Turning point: Poor first-half shooting doomed the Hurricanes. Miami shot 28.1 percent from the field (9-of-32) to Florida State's 42.9 percent (12-of-28). In the second half, Miami started hot, but never gained a lead against the Noles, who outscored Miami by two in the second frame.
Key player:Michael Snaer kept FSU moving throughout the game. He led the Noles with 8 points at the half and finished with a game-high 20. He hit 5 of 7 shots, including going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also had 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block.
Key stat: FSU's defense frustrated Miami all night, especially in the paint. FSU altered a number of attempts and blocked 10 Miami shots in the process. FSU also turned the ball over 11 times after turning it over 33 times combined in the first two games against the Canes.
Miscellaneous: This was the first meeting between the two schools in the ACC tournament ... Miami held Georgia Tech to a tournament-low 36 points in the first-round game, but gave up 36 points to the Noles by halftime. ... FSU forward Bernard James dislocated his finger early in the second half, but he returned with 9:37 remaining. ... The last time FSU was in Atlanta for the ACC tournament, the Seminoles played in the championship game for the first time in school history. The Noles lost to Duke; FSU plays Duke on Saturday.
What’s next: With the win, FSU is still in the hunt for a No. 4 seed or better in the NCAA tournament; the Seminoles are likely a 4 or 5 seed right now. A win over the Blue Devils on Saturday and the Noles could be in a fight for a 3 seed if they were to win the championship game Sunday. Miami is back on major bubble watch. The Canes entered the tournament on the outside looking in and while they helped their cause with a victory Thursday, the Canes will surely be sweating it out until Selection Sunday.