Published January 27, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton says the Seminoles are better shooters than their recent scores might suggest.
They sputtered again Sunday, losing to No. 25 Miami 71-47.
The Seminoles endured repeated long scoring droughts against Miami's man-to-man defense and shot a season-low 31 percent, the fourth time in the past five games they've been under 42 percent. Their starters went 7 for 26 and totaled 19 points.
"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."
The Hurricanes' defense was a factor. The Atlantic Coast Conference leaders haven't allowed an opponent to shoot above 50 percent this season.
Florida State (11-8, 3-3) fell to 0-3 this season against ranked teams. Miami (15-3, 6-0) is off to its best start in the league, alone atop the standings and 9-0 at home.
"They played like a mature team that understands what it takes to grind it out," Hamilton said. "They could do great things this year."
The Hurricanes have won seven games in a row, including a blowout of No. 1 Duke on Wednesday.
For the second consecutive game they drew a capacity crowd, only the 11th in the 10-year history of their on-campus arena.
"We feel good, man," center Reggie 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."
Fans stormed the court after the victory over Duke, but this time the postgame celebration was more subdued.
"The Duke game was the best all year as far as atmosphere, but this was a big-time game for us," Johnson said. "The fans really kept us going, and we're proud of that."
Trey McKinney Jones had three 3-pointers and scored 15 points for the Hurricanes. Kenny 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 to lead the young Seminoles, who went 3 for 17 from 3-point range. Florida State scoring leader Michael Snaer 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.