No. 20 Florida St. 48, Virginia Tech 47
A night Florida State’s Michael Snaer wanted to forget turned
out to be one he’ll always remember.
Snaer’s 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left boosted No. 20 Florida
State to a 48-47 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night,
capping an improbable finish that kept the Seminoles in a
first-place tie in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
”Mike is very confident in his ability to knock the shot down
because he’s a gym rat,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said
of Snaer whose 3-pointer at the buzzer beat Duke last month. ”He’s
in the gym so much knocking those shots down that he has
confidence. It doesn’t bother him that he’s missed several.”
Until he let the game-winner go, Snaer had been having a
miserable game. He picked up an early technical for mouthing off to
an official and managed only six points. He hadn’t come close on
three earlier 3-point attempts.
Florida State (18-7, 9-2) trailed 45-37 with 1:29 left in the
game, but Virginia Tech missed 5 of 6 free throw attempts over the
final 1:09 to leave the door open for Snaer’s heroics from the
right side of the court.
”The basketball gods just smiled on us in this one,” Hamilton
said. ”You’ve got to go and take games. People are not going to
give them to you.”
Snaer, who had made only 3 of his 10 previous shots, hit the
game-winner from nearly the identical spot he produced similar
heroics in Florida State’s 76-73 win at Duke on Jan. 21. Ian
Miller’s 3 from the corner with 44 seconds left got the Seminoles
”You don’t have time to think about where your sweet spot is,”
Snaer said. ”You’ve just go to put it up. When you’ve done it
before it’s not hard to believe you can do it again.”
Virginia Tech (14-12, 3-8) had a chance to take a two-possession
lead when Jarell Eddie was fouled grabbing an offensive rebound
with 10.2 seconds left. But he began to cramp up. Robert Brown was
selected to take the free throws and missed both.
”In the end it had nothing to do with made field goals,”
Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. ”It’s real simple, you
step up and make free throws and the game is over. You don’t have
to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.”
Erick Green led Virginia Tech with 18 points and was nearly
fouled as he launched a last-second desperation shot that bounced
off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
”We got the look we could get with 2 seconds left,” Greenberg
said. ”John Wooden couldn’t have drawn up a play with no timeouts.
You try to get the ball up the floor.”
Green scored seven points that keyed a 17-0 Virginia Tech run to
start the second half and the Hokies had a 40-25 lead with 14:09
left on Brown’s only field goal in the game.
Miller led Florida State with 11 points and Snaer had nine to
help the Seminoles, who have won nine of 10 and are tied for first
in the ACC with North Carolina and Duke.
Florida State shot 40 percent from the field.
The Hokies shot just 32.7 percent in the game and were beaten
41-31 on the boards.
The Seminoles, who led 25-23 at halftime, are 17-0 this season
when leading at the break and 6-0 at home in the conference where
they have won 13 of their last 14 games dating to last season.