Miami basketball loses heartbreaker at Florida State

Jan 11, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports /

In a game that was close throughout, RayQuan Evans of Florida State made two free throws with 0.8 seconds remaining to give the Seminoles a 65-64 victory over the Miami basketball team on Tuesday night. Charlie Moore put Miami in front 64-63 with seven seconds remaining with a three-point shot.

Moore led Miami with 20 points, Kameron McGusty had 17 and Isaiah Wong 10. Matthew Cleveland led Florida State with 17, Anthony Polite had 12 and Evans 11. Miami held the lead for 32:02 and Florida State 5:30 but the Seminoles earned the victory. Florida State plays at Miami on January 22.

Miami held a 29-28 lead at halftime. The Hurricanes nine-game win streak is over with the loss. The foul that Evans absorbed was questionable. Miami was outrebounded 37-25. McGusty led Miami with nine rebounds. Miami has improved their three-point defense holding Florida State to 6-20.

The first half was a game of runs. Miami opened the game 15-7. Florida State answered with an 11-0 run to take an 18-15 lead. Miami had a 10-2 run to surge back in front 25-20. Moore had 10 in the first half and Wong seven. Wong was not able to make his usual second-half impact against Florida State.

Miami remains alone in first place in the ACC despite the loss. The game at Florida State is the second in a tough stretch of games for Miami this month. Miami defeated Duke on Saturday and will begin a three-game homestand against North Carolina on January 18 followed by FSU and Virginia Tech.

The loss to Florida State was tough, but Miami has set a good foundation with the five-game winning streak to begin ACC Play. The Hurricanes just missed the Top 25 this week. They are likely to lose any votes that they had in this week’s poll when the new rankings ar released next Monday.

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It’s too early for Miami to focus on that. The Hurricanes need to continue building their resume for an NCAA Tournament berth. Miami has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2018. Miami is currently 80th in the NCAA net rating that helps determine the NCAA Tournament berths and seeds.