CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - With defense dominant in a seesaw game, Florida State finally found a way to pull away - by making every shot.
The Seminoles sank their final six field-goal tries and their last eight free throws over the final 7:46 Wednesday to beat the Miami Hurricanes 63-53.
“The main thing is our guys kept executing and didn’t panic,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. ‘We kept moving the ball and made the extra pass.”
Florida State scored 13 consecutive points over the final 4 minutes, while the Hurricanes missed six shots in a row during the decisive stretch and went 3½ minutes without a point.
With that, the Seminoles (12-4, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned their third consecutive victory.
“It was a tough game,” center Boris Bojanovsky said. “We had to grind it out. It feels really good to beat them, because last year they beat us twice.”
Miami (9-7, 1-3 ACC) has already matched its loss total in the conference for all of last season, when it won the title.
The 14th and final lead change came when Okaro White’s two free throws put Florida State ahead to stay, 52-51. Garrius Adams then blew a dunk for the Hurricanes, and that was their last chance to regain the lead.
Ian Miller’s 3-pointer made it 57-51, and he added two free throws in the final minute to help seal the win.
“Toward the end of the game, my teammates trusted me to make big plays,” Miller said.
The Seminoles shot 62 percent in the second half, and Miami coach Jim Larranaga said his team’s defense was a factor.
“It was a really hard-fought defensive battle in the first half,” Larranaga said. “In the second half our defense was very inactive, the opposite of the way it was in the first half. We got spread out and gave them a lot of passes over the top to the rim. That gave them the ability to score consistently.”
Meanwhile, Florida State switched to a zone during the game, and Miami shot only 32 percent in the second half.
“We played more zone defense in the second half than we have in a number of years,” Hamilton said.
The fade at the finish was familiar for the Hurricanes. In five of their seven losses, they’ve led late in the second half.