Florida State rallies down from 25 to stun No. 13 Miami

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Early in the second half, Florida State lost 25 points and decided not to stop playing.

And the Seminoles ended Miami’s hopes of a perfect home season.

Matthew Cleveland’s 3-pointer after time capped Florida State’s comeback from a 25-point deficit in the second half, and the Seminoles stunned No. 13 Miami 85-84 on Saturday.

“We showed a little bit of who we are,” said Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton.

Jordan Miller had given Miami a 4.9 second lead with a 3-pointer. But Cleveland let go from about 25 feet and the ball spun around to give the Seminoles (9-20, 7-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) their best moment of the season.

They ended Miami’s seven-game winning streak and denied the Hurricanes a perfect home season. Miami was 15-0 at the Watsco Center, which came in on Saturday.

The 25-point comeback win is the largest in ACC history, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.

“Miami is a really, really good basketball team. … I would hate to play them in the NCAA tournament,” Hamilton said.

Cleveland and Darin Green Jr. each had 20 points for Florida State, which got 13 from Caleb Mills and 11 from Jalen Warley.

Miller led Miami (23-6, 14-5) with 21 points. Norchad Omier had 15, Isaiah Wong had 14 and Bensley Joseph added 12 for the Hurricanes.

“We played as well as we could in the first half,” said Miami coach Jim Larrañaga. “But at the beginning of the second half it seemed to me that our battery was dead. We didn’t have the energy or the juice and that showed especially in our defence.”

Miami just couldn’t get stops in the second half. Florida State shot 68% in the last 20 minutes, lost the lead twice in the last 40 seconds — and then stunned its biggest rival anyway.

“Thanks to them. They played hard,” Miller said. “I think they just wanted it more. We came out unfocused. … We just have to find a way to end games like this. There’s no excuse for us losing this game.”

Miami took a 14-2 lead after 3½ minutes, and Florida State came away with a chip to go 8-12 at halftime to 28-23.

All of Miami belonged for the next seven minutes.

It seemed like a 22-2 run would essentially end the game before halftime and take the Hurricanes’ lead to 50-25. Miami made eight of its last 10 shots at the half.

“We just weren’t ready in the first half,” Hamilton said.

And then came halftime. The Seminoles sure looked ready.

“We didn’t tell them anything at half-time that we didn’t tell them before the game started,” Hamilton said.

The lead would change hands 10 more times on the course, the last of which lifted in Cleveland’s desperation after Miller’s green light 3 at the other end.

“I knew they were going to party,” Cleveland said. “If we come down and push, we get a decent shot.”

It was better than decent. It was perfect.


Florida State: The Seminoles have avoided tying a school record for casualties for now. The only FSU team to lose 21 games was the club in 2000–01, which was part of a five straight loss streak for the Seminoles. This year marks the end of 17 consecutive winning seasons for Florida State.

Miami: The Hurricanes were without guard Nijel Pack, who was out with a lower-limb injury. Miami lists him as day by day. He averages 13.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, with 41% shooting at 3-pointers.


Miami will be in the AP Top 25 for the 12th straight week when the latest rankings are released on Monday. But the Hurricanes will likely drop a few points.


Florida State: hosts North Carolina in its home finals on Monday.

Miami: hosts Pittsburgh on March 4 in the regular-season finals.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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