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No. 16 FSU basketball dominates again en route to sixth straight win over Miami

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Malik Osborne and RaiQuan Gray both post double-doubles.

Mike Olivella

No. 16 Florida State (10-2, 6-1 ACC) continued its run of dominance with a 81-59 win over the Miami Hurricanes (6-9, 2-8 ACC). It was the Seminoles’ sixth straight win over the Canes and FSU’s third straight double-digit win. The ‘Noles were sloppy offensively in the first half, but suffocated UM on the glass and defensively. A hot-shooting second half led to FSU’s third straight blowout victory.


Florida State continued its trend of quick starts. The defense got them going early, forcing four Miami turnovers in the first four minutes. The turnovers allowed FSU to be aggressive on the fast break. A quick 7-0 run, spurred by RaiQuan Gray’s play on both ends, led to an early Jim Larrañaga timeout with Florida State up 9-3 just over four minutes in.

FSU has been scorching hot from beyond the arc this season, but got off to a slow start against Miami. The ‘Noles missed their first four three pointers and were just 36% from field at the second media timeout. Despite the slow start offensively, Florida State still held a 6-point lead because of its suffocating defense. Eight minutes into the game, the Hurricanes had two made baskets and seven turnovers.

Sardaar Calhoun, coming off a career-high 13 points against Clemson, got FSU going from deep with a triple. Nathanael Jack followed with a three of his own, rewarding the Seminoles’ big men after multiple offensive rebounds. 12 minutes into the game, the ‘Noles had six offensive rebounds, while the Canes had just seven defensive boards. The domination on the glass led to a 20-11 lead at the U-8 media timeout.

The Seminoles opened up their first double-digit lead of the game as Scottie Barnes made back-to-back buckets. Malik Osborne made it three straight buckets and a 15-point lead with a pretty hook shot, leading to Miami’s second timeout. M.J. Walker then drained a corner three, before an easy Rayquan Evans layup stretched the lead to 20. Larrañaga quickly called his third timeout with 3:52 remaining in the half, leaving him with just one timeout for the final 24 minutes.

UM got themselves back in the game over the final 3:52 of the half with a 12-2 run behind three threes, including two from Isaiah Wong. However, the Seminoles still went into the half with a 35-23 lead. The story of the half was FSU’s rebounding dominance. The ‘Noles doubled the Canes up (22-11). Florida State also showed off its depth, with 14 more bench points than Miami (14-0).

Eight of the ten FSU players who saw time cracked the score board, but it was an uncharacteristically sloppy offensive half. Florida State had a turnover rate of 21%. Walker led the way with seven points. Balsa Koprivica added six points and four boards. The Seminoles (best 3-point shooting team in the ACC coming into the game) shot 48.3% from the field, but were just 3-11 (27%) from deep. Miami (worst 3-point shooting team in the ACC coming into the game) was just 32% from the field, but shot 5-13 (38%) from beyond the arc.

Walker and Koprivica got the Seminoles off on the right foot in the second half. Walker showed his senior grit and intelligence on the Canes’ first possession, as he drew a charge in the lane. The big man followed it up by converting an and-one off a pretty pass from Evans on the next possession. But Miami stayed hot from behind the arc out of the locker room. Anthony Walker drained his second triple before a Kameron McGusty jumper cut the deficit to single digits for the first time since the 7:30 mark of the first half.

A Gray slam off a nice dish from Barnes extended the lead back to double-digits out of the U-16 media timeout. Florida State’s next possession consisted of three offensive rebounds, leading to a Calhoun layup and a 13-point lead. FSU’s defense started to turn the heat back up, as Walker got a slam off an intercepted pass.

Wyatt Wilkes followed it up with a triple on the next possession, forcing Miami to use its last timeout with 13:04 remaining. A Malik Osborne deep ball made it 54-33 at the U-12 media timeout.

As Miami slowed down from three, it was once again apparent FSU is very good at basketball, UM is not, and another rout was on. Wilkes’ second triple and two technical free throws by Calhoun (after the Canes tried calling a fifth timeout) extended the Seminoles’ lead to 24 at the next media timeout. Through the first 12 minutes of the half, Florida State was 52.6% from the field, 3-5 from deep, and 7-7 from the charity stripe.

The Seminoles put on a highlight reel late in the game. Calhoun provided the highlight of the night, with an absolute tomahawk of an alley-oop slam off an Evans’ pass.

Tanor Ngom followed with a powerful poster on the next possession. The Canes were dressed for the occasion, wearing all black for the rivalry game.

Florida State shot 51.6% from the field, while going 6-18 from deep. The ‘Noles dominated the boards all night, out-rebounding the Canes by 21. Osborne posted the first double-double of his FSU career with 11 points and 10 boards. Gray also had a double-double (his first) with 10 points and 11 boards. Walker and Calhoun both added 11 points to lead FSU’s balanced attack.

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