SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The last time Florida State and Virginia Commonwealth met, the Seminoles lost in a matchup of attacking defensive styles in a ragged, fast-paced affair that saw VCU trudge away as the survivor.
The rematch featured the same brand of basketball on both sides. Only this time, FSU proved to be better at it.
Ian Miller scored 22 and Devon Bookert added 18 to help FSU survive 25 turnovers and cruise past No. 10 VCU 85-67 Thursday night at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
FSU advanced to a semifinal matchup at 5 today with Michigan (ESPN2).
"We don't ever go into a game trying to set a tempo, we just try to be who we are and take what the defense gives us," Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We didn't go in saying we wanted to have an 85- or an 86-point game, what we wanted to do was try to come up with a way to win."
The Seminoles (4-0) have scored at least 80 in every game.
Miller's 22 points was a career high and his third straight game in double figures. He said cutting down on turnovers is a work in progress.
"Since I've been here we've been having about 20 turnovers a game," he said. "So it's just something that we just got to keep working on. We'll learn. We're still young, and we're still finding ourselves."
The Rams (3-1) were denied their first 4-0 start since 1993-94.
FSU lost in overtime to VCU in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. This time the Seminoles took control late in the first half and then used an 11-0 spurt to open the second half.
VCU also came in averaging more than 80 points per game and it made for a pace that was rapid from the outset.
But the Rams shot just 29 percent for the game. They trailed by 30 late in the second half.
"I thought, for us, this was a wakeup call and realization that we just can't be who we want to be — we have to make it happen," coach Shaka Smart said. "It was a classic case of allowing our offense to affect our defense … there's going to be nights like that, but the good teams stick to the process."
The Seminoles played with more control early, and got a dunk off a set inbounds play just before halftime, then kept that momentum coming out of the locker room.
As well as FSU played Thursday, Hamilton said he thinks they can play better.
He said that with the quick turnaround there's no way to craft any special system for Michigan, but added "we've got our hands full. …. They're going to do what they're going to do; I'm not sure what anybody know what we're going to do."