Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sports

No. 22 Florida State Seminoles rally to beat No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers 63-60 after Bernard James ejected

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Ian Miller said he hadn't made a winning buzzer-beater since high school.

When he shot from the right wing in the final second Thursday night, he didn't need to look.

"When it left my hand, I knew it was good," the sophomore said about the 3-pointer with a hand in his face and 0.8 seconds left that gave No. 22 Florida State a stunning 63-60 comeback victory over No. 24 Virginia.

Just after Seminoles center Bernard James was ejected for kicking Joe Harris as they both lay on the court, FSU, trailing by 11 with 4:30 left, closed with a 16-2 run.

Miller matched his career high with 18 points, 15 in the second half. On the final play, he dribbled time off the clock until darting from near midcourt on the left side to the right wing with Virginia guard Sammy Zeglinski just far enough behind to allow Miller to set, step back and shoot.

"He smacked my left hand and everything, but I was locked in," Miller said after scoring nine in the game-ending run. "By then it was too late."

"I'm still trying to comprehend it," Zeglinski said. "I'm still in shock."

It was Miller's fifth 3-pointer and the seventh for the Seminoles (20-9, 11-4 ACC), who won their seventh straight in the series and spoiled Senior Night for Mike Scott.

Scott scored 28, his career high in an ACC game, for the Cavaliers (21-8, 8-7), who lost for the first time in 18 games this season when scoring 60. Virginia played with only seven scholarship players available due to injuries.

Michael Snaer and Xavier Gibson added 12 points each for FSU, and Snaer said a turning point that looked like it might help Virginia mightily wound up driving the comeback.

After a Cavaliers turnover, the 'Noles tried a deep pass downcourt. Harris gave chase and ran into James, sending both to the floor, with Harris on top of James' foot. James pulled his out and kicked Harris, and the crowd went wild.

After watching the replay and consulting, officials ejected James, and Scott made two free throws for the flagrant foul, making it 56-47. He then drew a fifth foul on former Clearwater High standout Okaro White and made two free throws for a 58-47 lead with 4:33 left.

Virginia made only two free throws from that point.

"It was like, 'It's on now,' " Snaer said. "They messed up. They shouldn't have ever threw BJ out of the game. That was the mistake they made. The fans were like, 'Yes. BJ's gone. We can attack them.' No, because we just get even more mad, We just get even more fuel.

"We're a fuel team. We're an angry team, and when we're angry, we can hurt you."

Deividas Dulkys, whose only field goal of the game was a 3-pointer that tied it with 1:49 left, said: "We have a lot of fight in us.''

"We just gave that … away," Scott said. "That was our last chance to play one of the top teams in the ACC. That was our last chance to beat one of the best teams."

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