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Florida State rallies from 16-point first-half deficit to beat No. 23 Miami 55-54

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The first 20 minutes couldn't have gone better for No. 23 Miami. The Hurricanes made 50 percent of their shots, forced 11 turnovers and led by 11 points at the half.

But the Hurricanes were flat after that. And they had no answer for Florida State guard Montay Brandon.

Brandon had one of his best games of the season, scoring 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting, and Florida State rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to beat No. 23 Miami 55-54 on Sunday.

The Hurricanes' Sheldon McClellan missed a floater in the lane as time expired.

Miami shot 6 of 19 (31.6 percent) in the second half and scored just 18 points.

"Florida State defended us very, very well in the second half," coach Jim Larranaga said. "You have to give them credit. Their defense throughout the second half made us miss shots."

Brandon had 12 second-half points and Kiel Turpin added six of his 10 after halftime for the Seminoles, who shot 53.7 percent. Turpin put Florida State ahead for good with a baby hook with 1:41 left.

A junior guard, Brandon had three steals, including two early in the second half, to help Florida State come back.

"Brandon stole it twice and dunked it twice," Larranaga said. "That fired them up. All of a sudden the lead evaporated right away."

Florida State (12-10, 4-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) won despite three of its starters struggling from the floor. Xavier Rathan-Mayes had five points, while Devon Bookert and Phil Cofer were scoreless. The trio combined to shoot just 2 of 14.

Miami led 54-53 after McClellan's jumper with 3:46 left but didn't score the rest of the way.

PHOTO: Miami guard Davon Reed, center, passes around Florida State guard Devon Bookert as Miami head coach Jim Larranaga looks on in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Miami guard Davon Reed, center, passes around Florida State guard Devon Bookert as Miami head coach Jim Larranaga looks on in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

Still, the Hurricanes had a few chances late. Davon Reed misfired on a jumper with 1:08 to go, and McClellan was off on the potential game-winning shot.

McClellan led the Hurricanes (14-7, 4-4) with 13 points, and Reed had 11 points and six rebounds.

Miami had just earned its Top 25 ranking back a week ago with a 14-4 start, which included a win over then-No. 4 Duke. But the Hurricanes have fizzled since, falling by 20 points to Georgia Tech before Sunday's loss.

The Hurricanes now have little time to regroup for No. 10 Louisville on Tuesday.

"The league is very talented," Larranaga said. "Losing a game to a good team is nothing to be ashamed of. When we play a team like Florida State, it's a battle right to the bitter end. That's the way it is every night in the ACC."

JEKIRI'S STRUGGLES

Miami junior Tonye Jekiri has had four double-doubles in his last nine games and was averaging 8.4 points and 10.3 rebounds going into Sunday. But against Florida State, Jekiri had just four points on 2-of-6 shooting and five rebounds.

TIP-INS

Florida State: The Seminoles are now 7-0 against in-state teams this season. It's the first time they have defeated Florida and Miami in the same season since 2008-09.

Miami: The Hurricanes were just 8 of 24 on 3-point attempts.

UP NEXT

Florida State hosts Clemson on Wednesday.

Miami hosts Louisville on Tuesday.

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