March 1, 2012; Charlottesville, VA USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Ian Miller (30) makes a game winning, last second shot over Virginia Cavaliers guard Sammy Zeglinski (13) in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. The Seminoles won 63-60. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
On a night when Florida State had the chance to make a statement, they did. It only took them 35 minutes to get there. FSU started hot, outscoring Virginia 29-20 in the first half, despite 9 turnovers in 30 possessions. FSU made 2-5 3s, and nearly 60% of their 2s.
In the 2nd half the turnovers continued, but the hot shooting didn't. Virginia, who hadn't made a three in the first half, suddenly started burying everything they looked at and needed less than five minutes to take away FSU's lead. FSU was able to keep it within two until the 6:00 minute mark, when Virginia started to pull away.
With Virginia was up 8 FSU forced a turnover and threw a long pass to Bernard James. Joe Harris contested the play (James came down with the pass) and ended up toppling James and coming down on top of his leg. James reacted poorly. Once he wrenched his leg free, he started to kick Harris, and didn't hold up until too late. He barely made contact, but still, the damage was done. A Flagrant 2 vs James, which was the right call. James was ejected and Mike Scott made the free throws. Okaro White hacked and fouled out of the game, and Scott made another free throw. Suddenly UVA was up 11 with 4:33 to play, and FSU was without Bernard James and Okaro White.
On the next possession Ian Miller missed a three, but Michael Snaer got a huge rebound and was fouled on the putback. Two FTs made it 58-49, with just over 4 minutes. The teams traded turnovers and then Ian Miller got fouled on a layup. 58-52. A UVA turnover. An Ian Miller three. 58-55. FSU intentionally fouled Jontel Evans (a poor FT shooter) but he made both. 60-55. Michael Snaer makes a runner in the lane. 60-57. UVA turnover, FSU miss, UVA miss, and then Miller and Dulkys hook up on a two man game and Dulkys buries the three. Game tied. FSU plays serious defense, forces the miss, but UVA got the offensive board. Once they reset they could have ran the clock down to about :15 seconds, but FSU's defense forced the turnover with :35 seconds left. And then Ian Miller happened. Game over.
Ian Miller finished with 18 points, and made 5-8 3-pointers. Xavier Gibson and Michael Snaer each added 12. This is the third game this season won on a three at the buzzer.
FSU is now 11-4 in the ACC, and has a chance to finish with 12 conference wins for just the 2nd time in program history. They take on Clemson at home on Sunday, when six seniors will play their last game ever at the Donald L Tucker Center.