It was slow goings to start the game as both teams played a down tempo style trying to figure things out. But in the end, the Seminoles defensive intensity and a stellar game by Luke Loucks earned the Seminoles a much needed win in the ACC.
With the emergence of Michael Snaer and Deividas Dulkys recent shooting woes, Leonard Hamilton gave the start to the Freshman, the first of his collegiate career. In 27 minutes of play, Snaer scored nine points, one assist, one rebound and one turnover. However, for those of you who watched the game, he was much more active than what his stat line appears to be. He played outstanding defense and was aggressive driving to the basket, making a couple of beautiful layups.
While Michael Snaer deserves the congratulations for his first start, it was Luke Loucks who had a career night and held the Seminoles in this game. Coming off the bench, Loucks scored 19 points, shooting 71% from the floor making three key shots from beyond the arc. He also pulled down five rebounds and had three assists. This may have been the game that Loucks needed to develop confidence shooting from deep. Unfortunately, Deividas Dulkys had another tough night on the offensive end, only scoring two points in 19 minutes, going 0-4 from beyond the arc and having four turnovers. It was not his night and the Seminoles desperately need him to come out of this slump.
After the first five minutes of the game, it seemed that the Seminoles were going to walk away with it and their confidence was building. But, the Hurricanes stayed true to their game plan, shooting three pointers and playing a tough pressure 2-3 zone, forcing the Seminoles to settle for jump shots. The zone worked, as at times, the Seminoles looked frustrated and content to swing the ball back and fourth around the top of the key. Clearly they were trying to spread the zone and look for the openings, but it was done with much purpose.
At the end of the first half, Florida State led 32-31. Both teams shot 50% from the field and Miami was happy to be in the game. However, in the second half, again after a slow start to he quarter, the Seminoles defense turned up the heat and held the Hurricanes to only 40% from the floor in the second half. The defense was impressive and played with intensity. Chris Singleton, who played 37 minutes, had three steals on the night to go a long with two monster blocks, one of which is his patented catch you from behind play. He only had two turnovers on the night.
While it didn't seem to be pretty at times, the Seminoles finished with an Off Eff of 110 and only turned the ball over on 17.2% of possessions. There has been a recent decreasing trend in the number of turnovers for this young team. The Seminoles had nine turnovers in the first half, but only had two in the second half.
Now, the Seminoles turn their attention to the Clemson Tigers as they make the trip north on Wednesday. With Dulkys shooting struggle, don't be surprised if Snaer makes his second straight start. The game against the Tigers will require the likes of Alabi, Reid and Singleton to have a good game as the Tigers are very physical up front.