For the third time in the last five games, the Miami Hurricanes basketball team faced off against an ACC opponent ranked as one of the top teams in the country. And, for the third time, the ‘Canes left with a setback loss that had head coach Jim Larranaga scratching his head.
This time it was a three point basket from their bitter in-state rivals - and ninth-ranked - Florida State that saw the Seminoles walk out of the Watsco Center with a 83-79 win. It was their fifth victory over the ‘Canes in their last six meetings.
FSU (16-2) took the lead in overtime on a three point play from Malik Osborne, and cemented the win with a three point basket from Devin Vassell - part of his team high 23 points in the game.
The Seminoles made the game interesting with a three-point basket from M.J. Walker – who had 19 points in the game - that tied it at 69.
FSU cut the deficit to just one point on a steal and slam by Anthony Polite before junior guard Chris Lykes hit the fadeaway off the backboard to give the Hurricanes a three-point lead.
Lykes finished with a game high 24 points for the Canes, who saw their record fall to 10-7 with losses in four of their last five games.
The Seminoles won their ninth straight overtime game - a streak dating back to December 2016 - and now sit tied atop the ACC standings.
The Hurricanes had their chances to put the game away and held their own in the first 20 minutes of the game, holding a lead for much of the first half that saw both teams shoot rather sloppy from the field – with the Canes shooting just under 38 percent and the Seminoles just over 40 percent thanks to a Trent Forrest basket at the buzzer that gave FSU a 31-30 lead at the break.
The Noles spent much of the first half in foul trouble – including starters Walker and Fort Lauderdale native RaiQuan Gray combining to play just over six minutes total in the half after getting quick fouls – that combined to keep them playing early on like anything but a top 10 ranked team.
The teams will meet again in the coming weeks, with their second scheduled game of the regular season taking place on February 8th inside the Tucker Center on the campus of FSU.
The Hurricanes head back to court on Tuesday when they travel to face a Duke team who beat them by 33 points when the teams met on January 4th in Coral Gables. The Seminoles, who could move into the top five when the new polls come out on Monday, have a week before heading back to the court next Saturday at home against Notre Dame.