GAME NOTES: The Florida State Seminoles will try to win their third straight game on Wednesday night, as they travel to the BankUnited Center for an Atlantic Coast Conference bout with the Miami-Florida Hurricanes.
FSU lost its ACC opener at Virginia on Jan. 4 (62-50), but since then it has won back-to-back contests at Clemson (56-41) and versus Maryland (85-61) to improve to 2-1 in the league. The Seminoles are now 11-4 overall, which includes five wins away from home (2-2 on the road, 3-1 on neutral courts).
Although Miami is just 1-2 in league action, it has been on the upswing of late with wins in four of its last five contests, most recently claiming an outstanding 63-57 road victory over North Carolina on Jan. 8. The Hurricanes, who are 9-6 on the season, have been merely mediocre on their home floor with four wins in seven tries.
In regards to the all-time series, FSU holds a 40-31 advantage over Miami, although the Hurricanes swept the season series during the 2012-13 campaign.
The Seminoles made easy work of Maryland in their most recent contest, outshooting the Terrapins from the field, 50 percent to 33.3 percent, while shooting a blistering 16-of-24 from 3-point range (.667) on their way to the 24-point victory. Ian Miller was especially hot from long distance, going 6- of-8 from 3-point range off the bench for 20 points. Okaro White tallied 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, Aaron Thomas scored 14 and Montay Brandon and Devon Bookert added 13 and 12 points, respectively, to the balanced effort.
FSU has been effective offensively this season, shooting 47.6 percent from the field for 74.3 ppg, but the biggest reason for its success has been its stout defense, which allows just 62.4 ppg on a microscopic 36.3 percent from the field, the latter stat ranking third-best in the nation. Miller has yet to start a game but still leads the team in scoring with 13.9 ppg. Thomas (12.5 ppg) and White (12.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) are also regular contributors, with each shooting field goals at 50.4 percent efficiency.
The Hurricanes led for nearly their entire contest against UNC on Saturday and used an 8-0 run late in the second half to pull away for good. Their field goal percentage was far from great (.420), but they were catapulted to victory by playing outstanding defense, holding the Tar Heels to a mere 30.8 percent shooting. Rion Brown shined with a double-double, posting 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Erik Swoope (14 points) and Manu Lecomte (11 points, seven assists) were impressive in reserve minutes.
Much like FSU, Miami plays great defense, as it holds opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field for a lowly 59.3 ppg (10th in the nation). It's a good thing it plays so stout on the other end, because otherwise its offensive effort (.424 FG percentage, 63.5 ppg) would certainly not cut it. Brown leads the way with 13.7 ppg and brings down 6.5 rpg a well. Garrius Adams pours in 10.5 ppg but on just 37.3 percent from the field, while Donnavan Kirk mans the paint with 8.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 2.2 bpg.
Points will come at a premium in this one with two top-notch defenses squaring off against one another, but the slight edge goes to Miami at the BankUnited Center as its home crowd will give it a necessary boost down the stretch.
Game Date and Time