Blowout wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference are becoming routine for the Miami Hurricanes. This time their fans didn't even bother to storm the court.
Trey McKinney Jones scored 15 points Sunday to help the ACC leaders win their seventh game in a row by beating archrival Florida State, 71-47. The postgame celebration was more subdued than when No. 25-ranked Miami drubbed No. 1 Duke on Wednesday, but the capacity crowd of 7,972 was hardly ho-hum.
"The Duke game was the best all year as far as atmosphere, but this was a big-time game for us," center Reggie Johnson said. "The fans really kept us going, and we're proud of that."
The Hurricanes (15-3, 6-0) are assured of a significant jump in Monday's poll.
"They played like a mature team that understands what it takes to grind it out," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They could do great things this year."
The Seminoles (11-8, 3-3) fell to 0-3 this season against ranked teams. Miami, meanwhile, is off to its best start in the conference, alone atop the standings, and improved to 9-0 at home.
"I'm not very surprised," center Kenny Kadji said. "We have a great team, and we have great chemistry."
Miami cracked the rankings for the first time in three years Monday and is creating a buzz even in South Florida, where college basketball tends to draw little attention. The sellout was only the 11th in the Hurricanes' 10-year-old on-campus arena, but their second in a row.
"We feel good, man," Johnson said. "The team is playing at a high level right now. We've got to enjoy this, but we've got to stay focused."
Defense was the difference against the Seminoles, who endured repeated long scoring droughts. The Seminoles shot a season-low 31 percent, the fourth time in the past five games they've been under 42 percent.
Florida State's starters went 7 for 26 and totaled 19 points. Miami has not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent this season.
McKinney Jones had three 3-pointers for the Hurricanes. Kadji and Durand Scott scored 11 points apiece, and Shane Larkin had eight points, nine rebounds and six assists.
"We played very well," coach Jim Larranaga said. "We had only three guys in double figures, but we had 19 assists. That's good sharing of the ball."
The Hurricanes also had a 44-32 rebounding edge against the taller Seminoles and outscored them 15-2 on second-chance points.
Reserve Ian Miller had 12 points for the young Seminoles, who went 3 for 17 from 3-point range.
"We're good shooters. I watch them every day," Hamilton said. "If we had a shooting contest in the gym and lined up and played H-O-R-S-E, we'd be OK. But the game is not a H-O-R-S-E game. You've got to execute your offense and have someone deliver the ball and get you in good positions, and right now we're not quite as consistent with that as I think we will be."
Florida State scoring leader Michael Snaer went 2 for 5 and was held to four points, 10.5 below his average.
"Michael struggles because we struggle," Hamilton said. "If our team executed a lot better, then it would be a lot easier on him."
Miami scored the first six points and led all the way. After Florida State cut the deficit to two late in the first half, McKinney Jones converted back-to-back fast breaks, scoring on a layup and then sinking a pull-up 3-pointer for a 37-26 lead.
Three-pointers by McKinney Jones, Larkin and Scott helped the Hurricanes build the margin to 54-33.
"We knew FSU was a good defensive team, and we had to share the ball and be unselfish," Kadji said.