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Clearwater's Okaro White leads FSU Seminoles to 65-59 win over Miami Hurricanes

TALLAHASSEE — It looked like a runaway for most of the game, but Florida State needed a clutch basket from its youngest player in the final minute to choke off a furious Miami comeback and win 65-59.

Former Clearwater High standout Okaro White, 18, a freshman starting in place of injured Chris Singleton, sank a 10-foot jumper with 31 seconds left Saturday that gave the Seminoles a 64-59 lead after Malcolm Grant's 3-pointer 25 seconds earlier got the Hurricanes within 62-59.

"I'd gotten a charge the last time I tried that (drive to the basket), so I had to pull up and take the jump shot," said the 6-foot-8, 200-pound White, who led the Seminoles (20-8, 10-4 ACC) with seven rebounds and tied Deividas Dulkys for the team high with 17 points.

White hit 6 of 11 shots, and Dulkys made 4 of 8 3-pointers.

"He stepped it up when we needed him," Dulkys said about White. "He's a very good player. You can't count him as a freshman."

Grant led Miami with 19 points, and 6-10, 300-pound center Reggie Johnson added 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Miami fought back from a 22-point first-half deficit but couldn't overcome 31.7 percent shooting (20-of-63).

"We didn't match their intensity to start that ball game," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "They jumped out on us. We were fighting uphill the rest of the game."

FSU won for the second time in three games since losing Singleton, its scoring leader this season, to a broken right foot. It reached 20 wins overall and 10 in the ACC for the third straight season.

FSU led by double figures through much of the contest, including 61-50 with 4:06 left.

The Seminoles took a 16-2 lead on their way to a 36-16 halftime cushion and a fifth straight victory over Miami. Miami's 16 points at the break were the fewest FSU has allowed in the first half this season.

"In the first half, we played about as flawless of a defense effort as I've seen us play," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.

FSU 65

Miami 59

Clearwater's Okaro White leads FSU Seminoles to 65-59 win over Miami Hurricanes 02/26/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 26, 2011 8:23pm]
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