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March 6, 2010

Seminoles survive at Miami

Game Photo Gallery | videoHamilton on the win

The Florida State basketball team spent much of Saturday's regular season finale at Miami looking every bit like a team ready for the postseason.

But a game that appeared to be cruising towards an emphatic FSU blowout turned out to be yet another nail-biter, as Luke Loucks hit a 3-pointer with 1:52 remaining to give Florida State a 61-60 victory in Coral Gables.

The Hurricanes had three opportunities to reclaim the late lead, but the Seminoles defense kept UM off the board for the rest of the game.

"It was an ugly win but wins don't go by good or bad," said Loucks, who along with Deividas Dulkys, scored a team-high 13 points. "It was pretty ugly, but in the win column there's going to be a 'W'. We are kind of grateful for it because we played awful down the stretch."

Florida State (22-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 56-45 with under seven minutes to play, but the Hurricanes took less than five minutes to erase that deficit, going on a 15-2 run that gave them their first lead of the game.

That lead, however, was short-lived, as Loucks hit what proved to be the game-winning three on the subsequent possession.

"That was huge because that was the only basket we scored over about an eight or nine minute period," said Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton. "I thought he came down and very confidently stepped up and knocked down two big threes that we had to have in the second half."

Miami held the ball with five seconds left on the clock, but the Seminoles were aggressive on defense, and Durand Scott's buzzer-beating jump shot was off target.

"All in all," Hamilton said, "most coaches feel that if you can pull a victory off on the road in the ACC, you have to take it and be happy."

The Seminoles finished 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from beyond the arc, and were 23-of-46 from the field. Ryan Reid scored 10 points, while Solomon Alabi and Xavier Gibson scored seven points each.

With the win, Florida State caps a second consecutive 10-6 ACC campaign, and are widely considered to be a lock for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. FSU's seed for next week's ACC tournament will be determined by today's game between Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, and tomorrow's matchup between Clemson and Wake Forest. Depending on the outcome of those games, the Seminoles could land anywhere between the No. 3 and No. 5 seed.


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