Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Sports

No. 21 FSU Seminoles pull away from Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for 68-54 win

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida State players swear coach Leonard Hamilton didn't raise his voice, at least too much, with them at halftime Wednesday night before the Seminoles got rolling on the way to a 68-54 victory over Georgia Tech.

The 21st-ranked Seminoles were playing the ACC's last-place team and were trailing 25-24 at halftime.

FSU hadn't played in a week and looked rusty, scoring only 10 over the final 12:45 of the first half and tossing the ball away 11 times — plenty to frustrate even a veteran coach like Hamilton.

"It did get a little hyped up every once in a while," said senior center Bernard James, who had 13 points and eight rebounds for FSU. "Strategy type stuff. A little reminder of the small things."

Those little things paid big dividends as FSU shot 61.5 percent and had four turnovers in the second half to 14 for Tech.

Michael Snaer scored 16 of his 21 in the second half as the Seminoles got their school-record sixth straight ACC win.

FSU (15-6, 6-1) is off to its best ACC start since joining for the 1991-92 season and stayed tied with North Carolina for first place. Duke is right behind at 5-1.

Snaer's big second half helped awaken a slumbering offense that shot 34.8 percent in the first. The 6-foot-4 junior made 5 of 7 3-pointers and has made 11 of his past 13, including a buzzer-beating winner at Duke on Jan. 21.

Georgia Tech (8-14, 1-7) had the halftime lead despite not having scoring and rebounding leader Glen Rice, who missed the game with a foot injury.

"I think they played up to us," Snaer said. "They hit us every chance they got."

Brandon Reed, who made 4 of 8 3-pointers, scored a season-high 18 and Daniel Miller added 10 for the Yellow Jackets, who lost their sixth straight.

Two free throws by Reed capped an 18-8 run that gave Georgia Tech its first lead, 23-22 with 3:09 left in the half.

"This was a good opportunity for us to get that feel of what it's going to be like when people are going to be playing you when you are in first place in a league that is as talented and as well coached as the ACC," Hamilton said. "We are in a position that we have never been in before … at the top of the heap and people are wanting to get to that type of spot."

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