Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ian Miller sank two free throws and Okarao White contributed a late basket to help Florida State knock off No. 22 Massachusetts, 60-55, on Saturday afternoon.
Aaron Thomas led the way with 18 points and four rebounds for the Seminoles (8-3), while White chimed in with 10.
"We needed this victory going into the Christmas break," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton admitted. "Santa Claus came early."
Derrick Gordon totaled 12 points for the Minutemen (10-1), with Cady Lalanne picking up 10 points and a game-best 15 boards along with four blocks in defeat.
Chaz Williams gave the Minutemen a 55-54 edge with 1:52 on the clock, and Lalanne grabbed the rebound of a Montay Brandon miss from long range but missed his own layup on the next trip down court.
Brandon grabbed that board, sending Miller to the line and he connected on both tries as 1:06 showed. White then stripped Williams and took it in himself for a 58-55 game with 12 seconds left.
Lalanne was called for offensive interference on his next attempt to the hoop, and Thomas capped the victory with his two successful tries from the charity stripe.
"We know how it feels to lose a game now," said Lalanne. "It's motivation."
Florida State led 6-2 early, fell behind 11-6, went up 17-13, trailed 26-21, but the Seminoles scored the final four points of the half and led 30-28 at the break.
The opening 20 minutes featured six ties, and the pressure increased in the second half, with neither school able to open up a lead larger than four points until the final minute.
Tip-ins from White and Brandon provided FSU with a 34-30 edge roughly 3 1/2 minutes in, and there were five more deadlocks.
UMass was behind 50-49 with 5:35 to play, then Sampson Carter and Gordon combined to go 4-for-4 on free throws in the next minute to take a 53-50 lead.
Florida State has won four of the seven all-time meetings with Massachusetts, including three in a row dating back to February of 2006 ... UMass connected on just one of its 15 chances from beyond the arc ... Williams posted 10 points and six rebounds in defeat ... Seminoles center Boris Bojanovsky recorded a game-high seven of FSU's 12 blocked shots.