February 23, 2012

Inside the Box Score: Duke at FSU

No. 15 Florida State
No. 4 Duke

Leon County Civic (Tucker) Center

FG% 39.7 42.3
3-PT. FG% 26.7 46.4
FREE THROWS 12/22 17/26
Michael Snaer (FSU) 18
Andre Dawkins (Duke) 22
Bernard James (FSU) 9
Miles Plumlee (Duke) 8
Luke Loucks (FSU) 3
Austin Rivers (Duke) 4
Michael Snaer/Jeff Peterson (FSU) 1
4 players (Duke) 1

"I guess the basketball gods smiled on us in this one."

-- Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton after beating the Hokies 48-47


Bernard James was responsible for all five of FSU's blocks


Duke made 13 three pointers


The 'Noles had eight turnovers in the game

Top performers

  • Bernard James: James came alive in the second half and finished the game one rebound away from a double-double. He scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and notched five blocks. He hit his only free throw and was 6-of-8 from the floor.

  • Michael Snaer: Snaer again led the team in points, scoring 18. He added a steal, two assists and three rebounds.

  • Okaro White: White played 22 minutes off the bench and scored nine points, while also adding five rebounds and 2 assists. He was 5-of-6 from the line.

    Depth Pays Off

    Virginia Tech played seven men in Thursday night's game, while Florida State played 10. Florida State's depth, and Virginia Tech's lack of depth, showed in the teams' energy level and execution down the stretch.

    The depth of FSU's bench allowed the 'Noles to stay fresh going into the final minutes of play, while Virginia Tech players appeared worn out. Five of the Hokies' seven players played for 30 minutes or more.

    The only Seminole to play for 30 minutes or more was Ian Miller, who was on the court for 31 minutes. He led FSU scoring with 11 points and hit a crucial three with 45 seconds left to play.

    Miller was one of five players to contribute off the bench on both sides of the ball.

    "We can go so deep on the bench, just to put other guys in who can come in and contribute," Michael Snaer said. "Terry came in and contributed, Ian came in off the bench and played real well. Jeff played outstanding for us today, coming in off the bench."

    Jeff Peterson scored five points in 18 minutes, including a three-pointer with just over a minute to go that put FSU back in the game and led to the rallying win.

    The depth gives the team confidence in its ability to outlast opponents.

    "It gives us more confidence because we know we can depend on each other because we can continue to be part of the game," Ian Miller said.

    Freshman Terry Whisnant saw five minutes of playing time, some of which came in the key final possessions of the game. Whisnant defended Virginia Tech's Erick Green, who had the ball for the Hokies with 2.6 seconds left.

    "Terry was in a big part of the game, playing defense on that last play," Miller said. "That just shows us how we all gotta step up each night. That (Whisnant's defense) might have been the biggest play of the game."

    Peterson agreed.

    "Terry did a great job at the end of the game, coming in there and guarding Green. Everybody just stepped up," Jeff Peterson said.

    Going forward, Hamilton can expect quality minutes from his bench, who played for a combined 85 minutes, and were responsible for 25 of the Seminoles' 48 points.

    Snaer Seals Another One

    Michael Snaer's nine points sit significantly below the guard's 13.8 point average, but Snaer's clutch three pointer to clinch the win for the Seminoles proved that the junior can knock them down when it counts.

    Snaer shot a similar last-second basket from beyond the arc at Duke on January 21, to propel the 'Noles over the Blue Devils and into first place in the ACC. The 'Noles still sit atop the ACC and Snaer can add another one to his list.

    "Even though I missed a few before this (his game winning shot), you can always make the last one," Snaer said. "Fortunately enough, I got the ball and I was able to do that."

    Leonard Hamilton saw the fortune in Snaer's winning shot, too.

    "I was glad the game was over," Hamilton said. "I wanted to go shake his hand."

    Free Throw Woes

    Virginia Tech had six free throw attempts in the last 1:09 of playing time to ice the game and earn the win. The Hokies missed five of those six, and allowed the Seminoles to score 11 points in the last 1:13 of the game.

    The Hokies had made three of their five attempts in the first half, but connected on only four of eleven in the second half.

    Virginia Tech's Robert Brown had the chance to shoot two at the line and shut the Seminoles' rally down with 10 seconds to go, but missed both, leaving enough time on the clock for Michael Snaer to work his magic.

    "We got the ball at the end of the game to the people we wanted to get the ball to. Our best free throw shooters," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. "On the rare occasion they didn't make them."

    The Hokies were not the only team in the Tuck suffering from free throw miscues. The 'Noles shot just 1-8 from the line, an abysmal 12.5 percent. Xavier Gibson made the only free throw of the night for the Seminoles.

    Next up

    Florida State travels to North Carolina State on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.

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