FSU escapes late at home against Notre Dame
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Ian Miller hit a floater in the lane with 4 seconds remaining to give Florida State a 76-74 win against Notre Dame in their first meeting as Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
Aaron Thomas scored 20 points in his first start of the season as Florida State held on. Miller finished with 11 points and the biggest bucket of the game. Teammate Okaro White chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Eric Atkins led Notre Dame with 24 points while teammate Garrick Sherman finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Florida State should have been able to put the game away after shooting 58 percent from the floor and a 10-point lead with 7:55 left. But the Seminoles couldn’t get stops in the second half. Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton hit a layup with 34 seconds left to tie at 74-74.
Then it was Miller time.
The Seminoles took a time out and left Miller isolated at the top of the key while the Fighting Irish sat in a zone. Miller passed the ball twice and got it right back before driving into the teeth of the defense and flipping up a floater in the paint to win the game with 4 seconds left.
"He hit a tough shot," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "You’ve got to give a really good player a lot of credit for knocking down a big shot at a key time."
The Seminoles (13-5, 4-2) have won 8 of 10 with both losses against Virginia. Florida State hits the road Saturday to take on No. 18 Duke.
Notre Dame (11-8, 2-4) has gone 1-4 since upsetting Duke. The Fighting Irish face Wake Forest Saturday.
The Seminoles couldn’t miss from behind the arc in the first half, hitting 5 of 7. That left Florida State 21 of 31 combined in their last three halves at home.
The Florida State offense ran through 7-footers Boris Bojanovsky and Michael Ojo early, but it was the long-ball that kept Notre Dame on its heels throughout the half. Twelve offensive rebounds, however, gave the Fighting Irish extra possessions throughout the game.
White didn’t start for the first time all season for Florida State. He was reprimanded before the game by the ACC for conduct at the end of the 78-66 loss at Virginia. Thomas started in his place and White checked in at the 16:35 mark of the first half.