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February 11, 2012
Florida State bounced back from a disappointing loss earlier in the week to Boston College, with a 64-59 win over Miami on Saturday afternoon.
The win snapped a five-game winning streak for the Hurricanes (15-8, 6-4 ACC) and improved the 15th-ranked Seminoles to 17-7 overall and 8-2 in the ACC for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
"We didn't manage the expectations and the our position (in the ACC) well in Boston," head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I thought we bounced back today and hopefully we can be more consistent as we move through the rest of our season."
FSU was able to pull away from Miami in the second half thanks to a dominating performance from senior Bernard James. James scored 15 of his game-high 18 points in the second half.
He finished the game shooting 8-of-13 from the floor, had six rebounds, four blocked shots, and two steals.
"When he got the ball he was determined he was going to get the rim and finish," fellow senior Luke Loucks said of James. "That's what he did time and time and time again. It's tough to do that going against (Kenny) Kadji and (Reggie) Johnson, two very physical guys, but BJ was just kind of determined to get the ball and be strong and be aggressive. He played unbelievable in the second half and really kind of put us on his back and kind of carried us."
In the first half it was Michael Snaer who carried the load scoring 10 of his 12 points as FSU took a 28-26 lead.
From the start of the second half it was the James show as he scored the Seminoles' first six points.
At halftime Hamilton and his team made the adjustment to go back to James, something they had gotten away from towards the end of the first half. James also said he made an adjustment to stop trying to go through Johnson, and use his quickness to his advantage.
"Our guards did a lot better job getting me the ball when I was open," James said. "Just seeing me. We've kind of struggled with that in the past, me not being on the same page with them?I think we were just on the same page today and it worked out a lot better for our inside-out game."
Down the stretch FSU squandered a number of opportunities to put the Hurricanes away and Miami was able to cut the lead down to three points with just 31 seconds left in the game on a lay up from Kadji, who finished the game with a team-high 14 points.
Ian Miller was able to push the lead back out to 62-57 with a pair of free throws to give him 11 points coming off the bench. Miami answered with a three, but Okaro White was able to put the game way for good with two more free throws in the final seconds.
FSU returns to action on Thursday at home against Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN 2. Hamilton knows that his team must expect another physical game like they had on Saturday against the Hurricanes.
"We've got to prepare ourselves for this type of game every night," he said. "We're at a point now where we're trying to maintain where we are and people are trying to move up the ladder. It becomes increasingly difficult. This is an adjustment that we have to make from being in the position that we're in knowing we're going to get everyone's best shot."