TALLAHASSEE (The Sports Xchange) — Miami once again had Florida State’s number, as the 12th-ranked Hurricanes took down their rivals for the second time in 2016 to sweep the season series, this time in a 67-65 nail-biter Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Center.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
With the Seminoles trailing by two and having the final possession, Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes dribbled the ball off his leg, but it was picked up by guard Malik Beasley, who was forced to throw up a wild final shot as the Hurricanes held on.
Miami guard Sheldon McClellan led the way with 20 points — including going 9-for-10 from the foul line. He helped the Hurricanes (20-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) earn their fourth consecutive win and strengthen their hold on second place in the league standings behind North Carolina.
McClellan, the ACC’s leader in field-goal percentage at 53.4 percent, made just four of 14 attempts from the floor. In the rivals’ first meeting, he scored 21 points — 20 of them in the second half. On Sunday, McClellan didn’t wait to get going, as he scored the game’s first points on a deep 3-pointer.
Hurricanes center Tonye Jekiri finished with eight points and nine rebounds, hitting two foul shots in the final two minutes.
Florida State (16-9, 6-7) took its second loss in a row following an ugly defeat Thursday at Syracuse.
The Seminoles allowed the Orange to shoot 62 percent — their worst defensive percentage in three seasons. That figure improved Sunday when the Hurricanes shot 38.2 percent from the floor, but it wasn’t enough for Florida State.
Guard Devon Bookert led the Seminoles with 14 points, while Rathan-Mayes contributed 12 points. No other Florida State player scored in double figures.
Florida State’s dynamic freshman guard duo of Beasley and Dwayne Bacon — the top-scoring freshman tandem on the nation — combined for just 15 points.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
Guard Davon Reed added 14 points for Miami, and backcourt mate Angel Rodriguez rounded out the Hurricanes’ double-digit scorers with 11 points. Forward Kamari Murphy tied for the team high with nine boards in the win.
Florida State’s offense struggled in the first half but erased a 37-26 halftime deficit and tied the game at 50-50 with seven minutes remaining in the game. Miami went on a 13-6 run over the next 3 1/2 minutes and appeared to be closing the Seminoles out.
After Beasley brought the Seminoles within 63-62 with a baseline drive and bucket — then forced an air-ball 3-pointer by McClellan — Florida State center Boris Bojanovsky was called for a loose-ball foul on Jekiri with one second remaining on the shot clock.
Jekiri made both shots to push Miami’s lead to 65-62. A Newton foul shot with 59 seconds left made the lead four points, but Bacon sank a 3-pointer with 49 seconds to go.
Newton hit one more foul shot with four seconds left ahead of the dramatic finish.
Miami reached the 20-victory milestone for the fourth time in five seasons. Florida State still leads the all-time series 42-35.
The Seminoles play host to Georgia Tech on Wednesday. Miami will next host Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
NOTES: Florida State’s coaching staff wore bright green wristbands and pins on their jackets Sunday to show their support for the Coaching for Literacy Program, which raises awareness about literacy and local literacy programs. Florida State has joined forces with 17 other NCAA schools and the Washington Wizards as a partner for the program … Miami key reserve guard Ivan Cruz Uceda missed his second straight game Sunday with the flu … Florida State center Michael Ojo (leg injury) was seen warming up fully with the team, but it appear he won’t play this season and will seek a medical redshirt for a fifth season.MORE NEWS: Miami Police Captain Javier Ortiz Relieved Of Duty
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