Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida State comes from behind to beat St. Bonaventure 66-63 in NCAA Tournament

NASHVILLE — Florida State had trailed 14th-seeded St. Bonaventure from the opening tip, the newly crowned ACC champs falling behind by as many as 10 points and the Bonnies' faithful standing out in an emotional, vocal crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

Third seed FSU had trailed by six with 10 minutes to play and had rallied to tie, but its first two chances at its first lead had failed. Sophomore guard Ian Miller, who had opened the game 1-for-7 and missed a go-ahead shot a minute earlier, stepped up with a shot that put the Seminoles ahead for good, the centerpiece of a 16-2 run that let FSU escape with a 66-63 victory in the NCAA second round.

"That's what you live for," said Miller, who added a key assist a moment later on a Luke Loucks 3-pointer. "You're in the NCAA Tournament, you're in a big gym, and for me and my team, they know I can make big shots. They have confidence in me, and that helps me take shots like that."

FSU (25-9) advanced to face sixth seed Cincinnati on Sunday, getting a huge game from Bernard James with 19 points and nine rebounds, and a strong finish from Loucks and fellow Clearwater alumnus Okaro White, who combined for FSU's final 11 points.

"They came out fists swinging, and we didn't really hit back until maybe 10 minutes to go in the second half," said Loucks, who had 13 points and six assists. "So all the credit to them. We really, really had to fight to win that game."

St. Bonaventure (20-12), which made the NCAAs by winning the Atlantic-10 tournament as a No. 4 seed, got a huge game from forward Andrew Nicholson, who had 20 points and went 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Much of the defensive responsibility of limiting the NBA prospect went to James.

"I just felt like I did what my team needed," James said. "I played as hard as I could and, you know, wasn't being selfish … Our guards were kind of struggling a little bit with shooting, so I really needed to step up."

FSU held off a furious rally late — twice in the final minute, St. Bonaventure's Demitrius Conger hit 3-pointers to cut into FSU's lead, which was 65-63 with 27 seconds left. Deividas Dulkys missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but White leaped and flipped the loose ball out to Loucks, who was fouled. He hit one free throw, and the Bonnies missed two shots in the final four seconds to seal FSU's win.

"We did what we needed to do. We came here to win the game, and we were very close," Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. "It was a great college basketball game, great environment. Appreciate our fans coming out, they were terrific. Couldn't ask more."

FSU got more of a challenge than they might have expected, but the game was won with stout defense — in that 16-2 run, which gave FSU a 60-52 lead, the Bonnies went 1-for-10 with three turnovers in nearly eight minutes. That was key on a day when leading scorer Michael Snaer was scoreless for the first time in 98 career games with FSU.

"They gave us one of the best fights of our season," said Miller, who had eight points. "We came out a little flat, and St. Bonaventure, they executed on our non-energy. The second half, it was do or die, so we knew we had to turn it up on the defensive end."

.FAST FACTS

Good in threes

Florida State has won its past three games by exactly three points each. And four of its past six games have been three-point wins. FSU is 6-0 this season in games decided by exactly three points:

Date Opp. Score

Fri. vs. St. Bona. 66-63-x

Sun. vs. N. Caro. 85-82-y

3/10 vs. Duke 62-59-y

3/1 at Virginia 63-60

2/4 vs. Virginia 58-55

1/21 at Duke 76-73

x-NCAA; y-ACC tourney

Source: ESPN Stats and Information

Florida State comes from behind to beat St. Bonaventure 66-63 in NCAA Tournament 03/16/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 16, 2012 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs

    Bucs

    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  2. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  3. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.