With UNC beating Virginia, the Seminoles needed to knock off the hottest team in the ACC in order to remain tied atop the conference standings. And they did just that, using suffocating defense to defeat the Hurricanes 64-59 in a 65 possession game. FSU (17-7, 8-2) held Miami (15-8, 6-4) to 5-23 (22%) shooting from deep, and forced turnovers on 23% of their possessions. The 0.91 points they scored per possession is the 2nd fewest since the return of center Reggie Johnson 14 games ago. FSU fronted Johnson all game, even out beyond 15', and did a great job preventing him from ever touching the ball. He scored a season low 4 points. Point guard Shane Larkin had arguably the worst game of his career, scoring 5 points on 1-9 shooting. He had one assist and two turnovers.
The game was close in the final minutes because of missed FTs. FSU made 5-9 down the stretch, and missed the front end of a 1-and-1. But the defense was elite, forcing Miami to burn clock and put up contested shots.
FSU's offense was plagued by careless turnovers (24.6%, right about their season average) including 7 from Bernard James. Still, the Noles were able to take advantage of Reggie Johnson's immobility by pounding the ball in to James, as Johnson doesn't have the quickness to play in front of James. Bernard scored 18 points and added six boards and four blocks. Michael Snaer (12) and Ian Miller (11) were also in double figures, and Luke Loucks played an exceptional game on both ends of the floor. He finished with 7 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 0 turnovers.
FSU gets to stay home, where they're 5-0 in the ACC, to take on Virginia Tech on Thursday.