TALLAHASSEE — Miami coach Jim Larranaga switched up his starting lineup Monday and played five seniors for the first time all season. With just two ACC wins, the Hurricanes needed something to change.
Miami exploded offensively during the 77-73 victory against rival Florida State, its most points since an 84-69 win against Texas Southern in the fourth game of the season. It was the Hurricanes' second win in eight games overall and second road win against the Seminoles in eight attempts.
"From my point of view that's the best we've played at both ends of the court," Larranaga said. "I thought our defense was strong in the first half. Not until Ian Miller went on a roll right at the end of the half did I get concerned.
"I like those seniors and the way they responded to the challenge that was put to them. This is your last go round. You have eight games left. How do you want to remember it? (Monday) they showed that they really want to go out playing better basketball and winning some of these close games."
Donnavan Kirk scored 16 for Miami (12-12, 3-8), Rion Brown 14 and Tonye Jekiri 15.
Miller scored 13 for FSU (14-10, 5-7) in his first game back from an ankle injury. Devon Bookert scored 17 and Aaron Thomas 16 for the Seminoles, who have lost six of eight.
The Hurricanes shot 47.9 percent from the field after entering the game shooting 38.8 percent in ACC play. They made 24 of 33 free throws to 10 of 14 by FSU.
Miami played zone for most of the game, and FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said that caused the Seminoles to play a bit hesitant offensively.
"This is part of the learning process, how do you handle adversity?" Hamilton said. "How do you find a way to reach deep down inside when things are not going the way you want? That's when you learn and you grow.
"I thought the effort was good, but I do think we had some execution failures on the defensive end."
Former Clearwater High standout Okaro White, who had 14 points, moved to eighth in FSU history with 127 games played.