ACC Basketball

Seminoles Earn Sunshine Sweep

(Photo: Joe Rondone/Democrat)

In a weekend full of comebacks, it’s fitting we got one more to end it. Down 16 midway through the first half, Florida State rallied to earn a 55-54 victory over Miami thanks to a Kiel Turpin jumper at the 2:03 mark. The Hurricanes twice had a chance to retake the lead, but missed two contested shots.

Early on, Florida State could do little right, turning the ball over 11 times in the games first 16 minutes. They actually went 10 minutes without hitting a shot, while Miami nailed five three pointers to open up that 32-16 lead. Yet, the Seminoles would outscore the Canes 39-22 the rest of the way.

First, Leonard Hamilton finally got his team to take the ball inside. The Seminoles front court got great position inside all game and produced. Even when the Canes switched to a 2-3 zone, the Noles still find their big men inside. Kiel Turpin, Boris Bojanovsky and Jarquez Smith made 11 of their team’s 22 shots, which made up for the fact those three trees combined for just four rebounds.

Yet, it was Montay Brandon who made the difference. After hitting just six shots in his last three games, Brandon couldn’t miss, going 7-7 from the floor. The fact is, as the Canes tried to collapse onto the Noles’ big men, Brandon found open lanes and worked the baseline like a boss.

For Miami, this game was a microcosm of their season; either “can’t miss” or “ice cold” from the field. They started the game shooting 1-5, then went 6-7 from the field, before going 1-6 late in the first half. Then they had a good stretch, going 11-17, but in the final eight minutes, they went just 1-5. In fact, during one five-minute stretch starting at the nine-minute mark, the Hurricanes made no buckets, turning it over five times. That’s how you lose games.

After getting back into the top-25 this past week, Miami has now dropped two straight, a 20-point defeat to the worst team in the ACC and now this. It might be a while before they get invited back again, as they fall to .500 in the conference.

Florida State improves to 4-5 in conference and 12-10 overall.

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