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FSU downs Miami in ACC quarterfinals

Mar 10, 2012 - 7:02 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Michael Snaer scored 20 points and No. 17 Florida State opened ACC Tournament play with an 82-71 quarterfinal win over shorthanded Miami-Florida on Friday.

Ian Miller added 18 points while Bernard James and Luke Loucks both had 14 for the third-seeded Seminoles (22-9). They advanced to play three-time defending ACC Tournament champion Duke in Saturday's semifinals.

"I think we know we have a tremendous opportunity to do something great,' Snaer said of the upcoming game against Duke. "My teammates have confidence in our ability, and we know we need all our pieces in order to win."

The Hurricanes (19-12), seeded sixth, were paced by Malcolm Grant's 19 points. They had advanced with Thursday's opening-round win over Georgia Tech, but were without leading scorer Durand Scott on Friday. He was suspended by Miami prior to the game as the result of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits.

The Seminoles' largest lead of the game came late in the opening half, when Snaer capped an 11-2 with a three-pointer to make it 35-22. They were up 36-27 at the break and led the entire second half, although Miami continued to keep it close.

The Hurricanes cut their deficit to three, 43-40, just four minutes into the second, but Florida State had a response, as Miller scored four straight before Okaro White made a jumper to push the advantage to nine, 49-40.

The Seminoles continued to answer each Miami threat.

Snaer's pull-up three near the midway point made it 53-46 after the Hurricanes had pulled within four.

Miami's biggest push came with less than five minutes to play, when Rion Brown and Kenny Kadji made consecutive jumpers to again slice the deficit to three, 62-59. This time, an 8-0 Florida State run ensued.

Miller started it with a jumper and Snaer made two free throws after Brown missed the front end of a 1-and-1. After a Miami miss, Loucks found James behind the defense for a layup. Shane Larkin then turned the ball over in his own backcourt and Loucks knocked down two free throws on the next Florida State possession to make it 70-59 with two minutes to play.

The Seminoles made 11-of-13 free throws the rest of the way to seal the win.

"I thought we gave ourselves a chance in the second half when we cut the lead to 62-59, and Florida State stepped it up and we were not able to finish as well as we would have liked. A lot of credit goes to them," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

Game Notes

The teams had split two previous games this season...Friday was the first meeting between the teams in ACC Tournament play...Scott started 30 games this season and averaged 12.9 points per game...Florida State leads the all-time series, 40-29.