The Seminoles went from a woeful performance to an encouraging one.
Following their split-personality trait in recent seasons, FSU (17-7, 8-2) responded after a discouraging loss at Boston College to beat state rival Miami in a grind-it-out, physical battle Saturday in Tallahassee.
The five-point win kept Florida State tied with North Carolina and Duke atop the ACC standings heading into the Seminoles' game against Virginia Tech on Thursday. With wins over Duke and UNC, the 'Noles continue to control their destiny in the league race. But most importantly, they beat a surging Miami team that had won its last five games and was confident it could beat FSU on the road for the first time in six years.
"We've got to prepare ourselves for this type of game every night," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We're at a point now where we're trying to maintain where we are, and people are trying to move up the ladder. It becomes increasingly difficult. This is an adjustment that we have to make from being in the position that we're in, knowing we're going to get everyone's best shot."
They'll get Virginia Tech's best shot Thursday in a game they'll need to control and further boost confidence before playing at North Carolina State next Saturday. When the Seminoles play intense defense and get some balanced production, as they did against Miami, they can be a very good team.
But as the Boston College loss proved, this program is still trying to handle prosperity and acclaim as one of the nation's top 30 teams.
The loss to BC could hurt the Seminoles' NCAA Tournament seeding unless they can win the regular-season league title.
NOTES AND QUOTES
The Seminoles continued to lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense (37.4) and steals per game (8.7) through the weekend. FSU ranked second in blocked shots (6.2). ...
In a continuing effort to reconnect with past tradition within the basketball program, Hamilton honored Dave Fedor, who was FSU's first player drafted in the NBA when he was chosen by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1962, following a decorated career with the Seminoles. He is the 12th-leading scorer in school history and was a team captain as a junior and senior. The 'Noles retired his No. 43 jersey in a pregame ceremony. ...
With the victory against Miami, Florida State's four-year seniors (Deividas Dulkys, Xavier Gibson and Luke Loucks) were on the verge of becoming the winningest senior class in school history. The Seminoles had won 87 games during their careers through the weekend, one away from the record.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6/24 -- The Seminoles have won six consecutive games against Miami in Tallahassee and six wins in a row overall against the Hurricanes. It's the longest win streak since 1971 against their state rival. In addition, the win Saturday against Miami gave FSU 24 ACC wins in the past 32 games, the highest percentage of wins during a two-year span since the Seminoles' first two years in the league.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We know that when we're playing together and playing hard, there are very few teams that can beat us. And that's not being overconfident. That's just knowing our system and knowing what we can do with the talent that we have." -- Florida State G Luke Loucks on the Seminoles' potential.
Miami win proves BC loss in the past
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