The Miami Hurricanes, playing their first home game in over a month, came out in front of their fans and put on an early show. They made 13 of their first 14 shots (including the obligatory banked-in three) to open an early lead on Florida State. And it was a lead the Seminoles could never overcome. At the end, it was Miami 80, and Florida State 74.
After falling behind by nine, the Seminoles could never get close to Miami in the first half, eventually going into the break down 13, at 45-32.
In the second half it looked like Miami would cruise to an easy victory, but FSU never went away. And then, in the final minutes, FSU made their run. What had been a 16 point lead was shrunk to six with 3:08 to play. FSU was able to stay in the game by completely dominating Miami on the offensive glass.
Braian Angola picked Bruce Brown’s pocket on the following possession, but his contested layup on the break didn’t go in.
After forcing another stop, FSU came up cold again, after Trent Forrest missed a three from the corner. Missing 3s was the theme of the night, as Florida State made just 5-24 (21%).
Miami made two FTs, and FSU countered with a rare three.
After a stop, FSU had the chance to cut the lead to a single possession, when Chris Koumadje grabbed an offensive rebound, but with two point-blank chances, couldn’t convert.
The team traded free throws, with Miami taking a 7-point lead. When it seemed the game was over, Angola drilled a three to cut the lead to four. Then FSU executed their trap perfectly, got the steal, but Angola missed the three.
And that was it.
Miami made a couple of free throws and walked away with an 80-74 win.
FSU’s early lapses on defense, and frigid shooting from deep were too much to battle back from. Florida State falls to 12-3 (1-2), but they’ve made it through the first brutal portion of their schedule. Now FSU will likely be favored in at least six of the next seven games. They also got good news tonight, as Chris Koumadje returned after missing 11 games.
Braian Angola led FSU with 16 points and five steals. Trent Forrest scored 12, Phil Cofer had 11, and Terance Mann scored 10. Mfioundu Kabengele had 12 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. And Chris Koumadje had five points and eight rebounds (six offensive).
The Seminoles host Louisville on Wednesday.