Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

Florida State Seminoles beat Virginia Cavaliers 58-55, stay tied for ACC lead

TALLAHASSEE — Michael Snaer already had a star's reputation at Florida State, and Saturday afternoon he added to it.

With 1:56 remaining in the 21st-ranked Seminoles' game against No. 16 Virginia, the junior guard's 3-pointer from several feet beyond the arc crippled the Cavaliers and helped power the Seminoles to a 58-55 win. A seventh straight ACC victory kept FSU (16-6, 7-1) tied for first in the conference with North Carolina, which beat Maryland 83-74 Saturday.

Duke, a half-game behind, hosts Miami today.

Snaer, who made a winning buzzer-beater at Duke two weeks ago, said Saturday's victory is a clear sign FSU will not be going away soon.

"It says that we're for real. This wasn't a fluke, us beating certain teams," Snaer said. "And we're not going away. It's not like we're the hunted. Everybody wants to say that now. But no, we're still the hunters.''

Cavaliers guard Sammy Zeglinski had been suffocating Snaer much of the game. Snaer was scoreless in the first half and was left looking for space to find an open shot in the second half.

When he finally did, he made Zeglinski pay.

"He was up on me all game trying to make sure I didn't get that shot, and then he backed up off me, and I said, 'Well, you let me have it now,' so I went on and took it," Snaer said. "I knew it was pretty far."

"That was a big shot for them," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "(Snaer will) eye you up, and he will shoot it at any time."

The shot gave the Seminoles a 53-48 lead and was the second of three straight shots Snaer made to help answer a 14-0 run that had given the Cavaliers (18-4, 5-3) a lead and late momentum.

"We weren't too worried about (Virginia's run)," Snaer said. "We knew that as long as we kept getting stops and just trusted in the offense, everything was going to work out."

In addition to Snaer's clutch shooting, the Seminoles employed stifling, aggressive defense. The Cavaliers committed a season-high 20 turnovers.

Though he praised Snaer, FSU coach Leonard Hamilton believed the turnovers were the biggest difference. "The biggest stat was that we made 19 turnovers; they made one more turnover than we did," Hamilton said. "And that one possession could have been the difference in the game."

So, too, could have been a pair of timely blocks.

The Seminoles closed out the first half with a block at the rim by Xavier Gibson with about 25 seconds remaining. It helped preserve a one-point lead.

With 2:30 left in the game, as the Seminoles were beginning to answer the Cavaliers' run, senior forward Bernard James blocked a layup from Jontel Evans to maintain a five-point lead.

"Even though Bernard did not have a great scoring night, his presence in there contesting shots (was good)," Hamilton said. "Whenever you play a team of the quality of a Virginia, all of those possessions count."

Former Clearwater High standout Okaro White came off the bench to score 13, grab five rebounds and help slow Virginia star Mike Scott. "I really try to pinpoint what's going on in the game," White said about watching from the bench in the first few minutes of games. "I know when I go in what I can get."

"Okaro has really settled in to being a go-to guy in the second half," Hamilton said. "Okaro has been making an impact the whole year."

Comments
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s first-round series

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s first-round series

In the postseason, teams want to bank days off so they are as fresh as can be for the next round. That's why it was so important for the Lightning to close out Jersey in five. The fewer the games, the less wear and tear on the body, less chance of in...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Game 5, Lightning wins 3-1 over the Devils advancing to the semifinals

Game 5, Lightning wins 3-1 over the Devils advancing to the semifinals

Tampa Bay Lightning fan Atlas Hamid, 3, of Treasure Island, joins his parents in Thunder Alley before the start of Saturdays 4/21/18) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New Jersey Devils during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round a...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely able to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother, S...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Nikita Kucherov’s goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

Nikita Kucherov’s goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

TAMPA — After clinging to a 1-0 lead for more than two periods Saturday, the Lightning got a long-awaited cushion — and ultimately the winning goal — when Nikita Kucherov scored with 7:33 left in the final period of a 3-1 victo...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Bucs not listening to outsiders, but expectations remain high for 2018

Bucs not listening to outsiders, but expectations remain high for 2018

TAMPA —Wait 'til this year seems to be the refrain at One Buc Place, even though the team was strangled by expectations in 2017. But a solid offseason that has already brought a rebuilt defensive line, new center and place-kicker has renewed th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

Man with multiple gun arrests now accused of fatally shooting Durant High football player

The first time deputies arrested Samuel Morrissey Jr., he faced charges of possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed firearm. He plead no contest in September, and the judge gave him a break by withholding adjudication. Ten days later, the 20-...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

TAMPA — The Lightning closed out its quarterfinal series against the Devils with a suffocating defensive effort.The Devils finally solved Andrei Vasilevskiy in the waning moments with goalie Cory Schneider on the bench and the Devils skati...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Variables are all that is constant when it comes to art of fishing

The unique variables and ever-changing conditions of fishing are what set it apart from most other sports. Basketball goals don’t move, baseball diamonds are basically the same and tennis courts never change. Fishing, on the other hand, is constantly...
Updated: 2 hours ago
2018 NFL schedule: All 256 games ranked

2018 NFL schedule: All 256 games ranked

When the NFL released its schedule Thursday night, we were going to rank the best and worst games. Instead, we entered the Times schedule-evaluation laboratory and ranked all 256 based on their attractiveness and the quality of the teams involved.One...
Updated: 2 hours ago