Miami takes down FSU in intrastate ACC matchup
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Donnavan Kirk scored 16 points as Miami earned a rare Atlantic Coast Conference win with a 77-73 victory against rival Florida State.
The win was just the third in conference play for the Hurricanes and the second on the road against the Seminoles in eight attempts.
Rion Brown finished with 14 points for Miami (12-12, 3-8) while Tonye Jekiri chipped in 15.
Ian Miller scored 13 for Florida State (14-10, 5-7) in his first game back from an ankle injury. Devon Bookert scored 17 and Aaron Thomas had 16 in the loss. The Seminoles have lost 6 of 8.
The Miami victory was just its second in its last eight games while the 77 points were the most scored since an 84-69 win against Texas Southern in the fourth game of the year.
"That’s the best game we’ve played on both ends of the court," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "I thought our defense was really strong."
The early moments of the first half looked like a meeting between teams with seven combined ACC wins. Neither could put the ball in the basket as Miami started 3 for 13 from the field while Florida State was 2 for 10. The Seminoles didn’t match the physicality inside, but the 3-point shot got both teams rolling.
Miami’s five first-half 3-pointers helped extend its lead to 12 points before Miller caught fire. Miller buried a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers and added a pull-up jumper with 37 seconds left to keep the Seminoles within single digits at halftime.
The Hurricanes extended its lead to a game-high 13 after a 5-0 start to the second half that featured Florida State several blunders. Michael Ojo was called for a technical foul, Montay Brandon missed two free throws and Thomas fouled a 3-point shooter. The Seminoles answered with a 16-6 run that saved themselves from being run out the building.
Florida State needed stops down the stretch, but the two teams traded baskets for too long before the Seminoles were forced to foul each possession in an attempt to cut the lead. The Hurricanes shot 47.9 percent from the field after entering the game shooting 38.8 percent in ACC play.
"Total team effort tonight," said Miami guard Garrius Adams, who scored 12 points. "We definitely stepped up in a lot of areas."