Florida State Seminoles rally past Virginia Tech Hokies 48-47 with 3 in final seconds

FSU’s Michael Snaer, dribbling ahead of Robert Brown, struggles with 4-of-11 shooting but makes the winning 3 at the end.
FSU’s Michael Snaer, dribbling ahead of Robert Brown, struggles with 4-of-11 shooting but makes the winning 3 at the end.
Published Feb. 17, 2012

TALLAHASSEE — A night Florida State's Michael Snaer wanted to forget turned out to be one he'll always remember.

Snaer's 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left boosted No. 20 Florida State to a 48-47 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night, capping an improbable finish that kept the Seminoles in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC.

"Mike is very confident in his ability to knock the shot down because he's a gym rat," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said of Snaer, whose 3-pointer at the buzzer beat Duke last month. "He's in the gym so much knocking those shots down that he has confidence. It doesn't bother him that he's missed several."

Snaer had been having a miserable game. He picked up an early technical foul and before the winning shot had six points, badly missing three 3-pointers.

FSU (18-7, 9-2 ACC) trailed 45-37 with 1:29 left in the game, but the Hokies missed 5 of 6 free throws over the final 1:09 to leave the door open for Snaer's winner from the right side. He finished 4-of-10 shooting.

"The basketball gods just smiled on us in this one," Hamilton said. "You've got to go and take games. People are not going to give them to you."

Ian Miller's 3 from the corner with 44 seconds left got the Seminoles within 47-45.

"You don't have time to think about where your sweet spot is," Snaer said. "You've just got to put it up. When you've done it before it's not hard to believe you can do it again."

Tech (14-12, 3-8) had a chance to take a two-possession lead when Jarell Eddie was fouled grabbing an offensive rebound with 10.2 seconds left. But he began to cramp up. Robert Brown was selected to take the free throws and missed both.

"In the end it had nothing to do with made field goals," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. "It's real simple: You step up and make free throws and the game is over. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out."

Erick Green led Tech with 18 points and was nearly fouled as he launched a last-second 3 that bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

"We got the look we could get with two seconds left," Greenberg said. "John Wooden couldn't have drawn up a play with no timeouts. You try to get the ball up the floor."

A 17-0 run to start the second half sent the Hokies to a 40-25 lead with 14:09 left.

The Seminoles, who have won nine of 10, caught back up to idle North Carolina in the ACC standings and Duke also kept pace by beating N.C. State.