FSU basketball (13-5, 6-2 ACC) moved up to first place with a road win over the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon.
It was a tale of two halves as the Noles demolished the Canes 43-19 in the first half but Miami outscored the Noles 41-18 in the second half.
In the end, however, the Noles held on to their ninth straight win over the Canes and their sixth straight win of the month.
Here are my key takeaways from the game:
- Dominate the first half
- Sloppy second half
— Florida State Men’s Basketball (@FSUHoops) January 22, 2022
FSU shot 56.3 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three-point range, and made 4-of-5 from the free throw line in the first half. The Noles only had two turnovers and five steals. The FSU defense kept Miami at 26 percent shooting overall and 1-of-12 from three-point range. Miami hit just six field goals and was 6-of-9 from the free-throw line in the first half with seven turnovers.
The second half felt like a combination of Miami’s energy, FSU’s conservative play and probably the impact of the fourth game in eight days.
It didn’t help Miami winning 6 of 13 in the second half from a three-point country, and FSU had 15 turnovers. Miami only flipped the ball twice. FSU’s offense seemed to unravel much of the half but made enough timely shots to hold the one-point win. Notable possession came when FSU had three offensive rebounds and scored on a Caleb Mills layup to give FSU a nine-point lead, with 2:43 remaining in the game. If FSU hadn’t scored in that possession, they probably wouldn’t have won the game.
As poorly as FSU played in the second half, they were still shooting 48 percent overall and were 3-of-12 from three-point range. In hindsight, how big was Wyatt Wilkes’ three-pointer after time was up in the first half?
I know the second half wasn’t the performance anyone wished for, but the ability to win on the road in a rough environment is an improvement on what we saw from this team earlier in the season.
FSU lost big second-half leads against Syracuse and South Carolina in the first 10 games of the season. However, they were able to close games during the winning streak. FSU basketball has a great opportunity to make the NCAA tournament in the next few weeks with several winnable games. They will travel to Georgia Tech on Wednesday at 9:00pm ET.