After a come from behind victory against Clemson, FSU headed south and led Miami from start to finish en route to an easy 78-64 victory. This was Florida State’s first road win of conference play and brings their league record to 3-4.
The Seminoles jumped out of the gate to a 7-0 lead barely two minutes in thanks to two Christ Koumadje buckets sandwiched around a deep PJ Savoy three. Savoy’s three was a sign of things to come, as the hot shooting ‘Noles made seven of their first 10 attempts from beyond the arc.
After pushing the initial lead out to 12-3, Miami started hitting some shots of their own. Sophomore big man Sam Waardenburg carried the Hurricanes as they steadily closed the margin. With 5:27 left in the first half, a Waardenburg dunk made the score 30-27 FSU and the crowd was starting to feel it.
Then FSU erupted.
Coach Hamilton subbed early and often, knowing that FSU could wear down the thin Hurricane squad. At times he even made whole-sale lineup changes, bringing a fresh five off the bench all at once. This led to a visibly tired Miami team and Florida State was able to reel off a 15-1 run to finish the first half, taking a 45-28 lead into the locker room. Mfiondu Kabengele and M.J. Walker did much of the damage during the run and FSU was able to get several easy buckets in transition as well.
The second half started a bit choppy, with both teams missing open shots. A Zach Johnson three-pointer cut FSU’s lead to 13, but Kabengele wasn’t about to let Miami climb back into the game. Multiple dunks by the rapidly improving big man kept FSU comfortably ahead.
Unlike against Boston College, Florida State kept the intensity high. Also unlike against the Eagles, the Seminoles’ shots kept falling, and falling, and falling.
Terance Mann rocked the rim with a spectacular, one-handed put-back jam. M.J. Walker went Fred McGriff on Miami and buried back-to-back-to-back threes...and then hit one more a few minutes later. From there it was all decided other than the final margin. The refs dragged out the game longer than it should have been with a ridiculous ejection of Koumadje for being tall, but when the dust settled the Seminoles left Coral Gables with a much needed road win.
Walker led all scorers with 22, 18 of which came on made threes. Kabengele had 17 and Mann added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Trent Forrest dished out 6 assists and the Seminoles as a team had 20 assists on 28 made baskets. Defensively, the ‘Noles held Miami’s leading scorer Chris Lykes to just 1 point on 0-12 shooting from the field.