TALLAHASSEE — Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton and Miami’s Jim Larranaga both have at least 33 years of college basketball coaching experience under their belts.
Both might have experienced a first during their matchup Saturday.
FSU and Miami needed a few extra minutes to settle their sharpshooting affair, which saw the Seminoles overcome 17 3–pointers by the Hurricanes to edge out a 103-94 overtime victory in front of 11,675 at the Tucker Center.
"That does seem like a lot, doesn’t it?" said Larranaga after his team made 17 of 34 3s and shot 50 percent overall.
Hamilton doesn’t have to think too far back to recall escaping with a victory against a team with a torrid shooting performance. About a year ago, the Seminoles beat a Notre Dame team that made 15 of 21 3s.
This time, FSU led for most of the contest until the Hurricanes tied the score in the final minute. The young Seminoles relied on their developing resilience to even the season series with their heated in-state rival.
Senior forward Phil Cofer led FSU with 21 points, senior guard Braian Angola had 18 and Cofer and junior forward Terance Mann each had pivotal defensive stops at the rim in the final minute to propel the Seminoles (16-5, 5-4 ACC).
Hamilton said his players repeatedly told each other "we’re not going to lose this game" during timeout huddles. FSU’s persistence, combined with a stellar shooting performance of its own, proved to be the difference.
"Just everybody being so confident in each other, knowing we’re not going to lose," Mann said. "We said it, and believed it."
Added Cofer: "Everybody was saying ‘we got to get this. We got to get this.’ We were locked in."
Point guard CJ Walker added 17 points and Mann, FSU’s leading scorer, overcame a slow start to finish with 14 for the Seminoles, who avenged an 80-74 loss at Miami on Jan. 7.
FSU led almost all game after the first 1:25 until UM forward Dewan Huell tied it at 83 with a dunk in the final minute of regulation.
Standout freshman Lonnie Walker IV, who led the Hurricanes (15-5, 4-4) with 23 points before fouling out in the final seconds of overtime, missed a potential winning jumper in the final seconds of regulation.
"I was getting ready to call a timeout and the players waved me off and felt like they had a great option," Larranaga said of Walker’s miss. "I didn’t know what they were thinking but I trust them. … He got a great shot but it was a little bit short. It looked good when it left his hands."