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FSU survives upset with putback in final seconds of overtime

Matthew Cleveland’s winner rescues the Seminoles at home against Boston University.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton in the huddle during the first half against Tulane on Nov. 17.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton in the huddle during the first half against Tulane on Nov. 17. [ MARK WALLHEISER | AP ]
Published Nov. 25, 2021

TALLAHASSEE — Freshman Matthew Cleveland scored 17 points and his putback basket with 2.1 seconds left in overtime helped Florida State fight off Boston University’s upset bid with an 81-80 win Wednesday night.

Cleveland scored 14 in the second half and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench. Caleb Mills also scored 17 for the Seminoles (5-1), who were never safe against BU (4-3).

Terriers sophomore Anthony Morales made the first two free throws of his career to bring Boston within 71-68 with seconds left in regulation. After FSU’s Anthony Polite missed badly on the front end of a one-and-one, Morales took the rebound, dribbled the length of the floor and buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.

Javante McCoy and Sukhmail Mathon each made two free throws go give Boston a 75-71 lead. With an 80-79 lead, in successive possessions, McCoy turned it over, and Morales missed a 3 with 15 seconds left to set up the Seminoles.

Mills drove right and put up a shot attempt that went over the rim, and Cleveland collected for the putback. After a timeout and having to go the length of the floor, the Terriers’ inbounds pass was intercepted at half court.

McCoy scored 22 for Boston.

Ethan Brittain-Watts’s three-point play with 8:51 before halftime capped a 10-0 Terriers run to give them their first lead at 20-18. Later, a 10-5 run to close the half brought BU within 37-35 at intermission.

FSU heads to West Lafayette, Ind., to play No. 3-ranked Purdue on Tuesday.

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