Coral Gables, Fla — —Florida State team jumped out to a 24-point lead at the break Saturday afternoon and then had to hold on down the stretch for a narrow 61-60 victory. Miami had a chance to win it just before time expired, but Isaiah Wong’s contested fadeaway jumper was slightly off the mark.
The Seminoles improves to 13-5 and 6-2 in the ACC; FSU now are in first place in the ACC standings. The Canes falls to 14-5 and 6-2.
Caleb Mills scored 16 points, Anthony Polite chipped in 15 for Florida State and withstood a second-half rally by the Canes for the win.
It was FSU’s second win against Miami in less than two weeks, their ninth straight in the series, and their sixth consecutive victory overall.
FSU improves to 13-5 and 6-2 in the ACC; the Seminoles now are in first place in the ACC standings. Miami falls to 14-5 and 6-2.
The Seminoles went into the break with a 43-19 lead after shooting 56.3% (18 for 32) with 15-made shots inside the perimeter. Polite made all five of his shot attempts and scored 13 points in the half.
Miami shot a dismal 26.1% (6 for 23) and missed 11 of 12 from downtown. The Hurricanes had one point off the bench before the half.
“I think you saw the best half that we’ve played all year,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said of his team racing out to a 43-19 lead in the first 20 minutes. “And you probably saw what could be the worst half that we’ve played all year.”
The Canes outscored the Seminoles in the second half, 41-18 and had FSU on the ropes.
Jim Larranaga’s made some adjustments in the second half, throwing a zone defense and then moving to a full-court press with aggressive half-court traps.
The half court traps gave the Seminoles problems, forcing them into 15 turnovers in the second period. Florida State hit 7 of 20 shots from the court after halftime and missed three big free throws down the stretch.
“We didn’t handle the trap very well,” Hamilton said. “We became very tentative.”
The Seminoles only scored eight points in the game’s final 10 1/2 minutes, and Mills accounted for every last one. He hit back-to-back layups to give the ‘Noles a 61-52 lead with 2:40 remaining in the game, but those were the last points FSU would score.
“It’s something different that we’ve never really had to deal with,” sophomore guard Caleb Mills said. “It was the first time we got a big lead in conference play — especially on the road. It’s not often that happens.
The Canes ended the game on an 8-0 run. The last time Miami beat Florida State was Jan. 7, 2018.
“I do think that we’re showing potential,” Hamilton said.
Wong finished the contest with 22 points and now has scored in double figures in 18 straight contests.
Florida State travels to Georgia Tech on Wednesday.
Miami has a road game against Virginia Tech, also on Wednesday.