TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's Michael Snaer may be a freshman, but he isn't playing like one.
Snaer had 14 points, including two clinching free throws with four seconds left Wednesday night, to lead FSU to a 51-47 win over Wake Forest, keeping the Seminoles' bid alive for a first-round bye in next week's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
"If I was going to make any free throws in my life, I've got to make these," Snaer said he thought to himself as he stepped to the line for his final two tries.
"He's a cool customer, no doubt about that," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "He spends an awful lot of time working on his free throws."
The Seminoles (21-8, 9-6) won despite making only four field goals in the second half to stay in a third-place tie with Clemson and Virginia Tech going into the final weekend of regular-season play. The top four finishers have an opening-round bye.
Wake Forest (18-9, 8-7) lost its fourth straight game.
Al-Farouq Aminu, the Demon Deacons' leading scorer and the ACC's top rebounder, was held scoreless for the first time in his career, largely by the efforts of FSU defensive whiz Chris Singleton. Aminu, who averaged 16.4 points and 11 rebounds, managed two field-goal tries against FSU's giant frontline and finished with four rebounds. The sophomore fouled out with 5:51 left and the Demon Deacons behind 45-44.
FSU, which blew a six-point homecourt lead with three minutes left in Sunday's loss to Clemson, led 49-44 with 3:40 left and almost did it again with four turnovers in the final 2:11. But Wake Forest, haunted by 20 turnovers, couldn't capitalize.
Wake Forest came out of a timeout with 23 seconds to go for the last shot trailing 49-47, but Ari Stewart was stripped by Singleton with five seconds left and Snaer was fouled.
"We had the ball in our hands a couple times and they just took it off of us off the dribble," Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said.