FSU basketball: Takeaways from ‘Noles road win over Miami Hurricanes

FSU basketball (13-5, 6-2 ACC) moved into first place with a road victory over the Miami Hurricanes Saturday afternoon.

It was the tale of two halves as the Noles destroyed the Canes 43-19 in the first half, but Miami outscored the Noles 41-18 in the second half.

However, in the end, the Noles held on for their ninth straight win over the Canes and their sixth consecutive win this month.

Here are my key takeaways from the game:

  • Dominate First Half
  • Sloppy Second Half

FSU shot 56.3 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three-point range, and made 4 of 5 from the free-throw line in the first half. The Noles only had two turnovers and five steals. FSU’s defense held Miami to 26 percent shooting overall and 1 of 12 from three-point range. Miami only made six field goals and was 6 of 9 from the free-throw line in the first half with seven turnovers.

The second half felt like a combination of Miami’s energy, FSU playing conservatively, and probably the effects of playing their fourth game in eight days.

It didn’t help Miami went 6 of 13 in the second half from three-point land, and FSU had 15 turnovers. Miami only turned the ball over twice. FSU’s offense seemed to unravel much of the half but made enough timely shots to hold on for the one-point victory. One particular possession was when FSU had three offensive rebounds and scored on a Caleb Mills layup to give FSU a nine-point lead with 2:43 remaining in the game. Had FSU not scored on that possession, they likely don’t win the game.

As bad as FSU played in the second half, they still shot 48 percent overall and were 3 of 12 from three point range. In hindsight, how big was the Wyatt Wilkes three-pointer as time expired in the first half?

Final Thoughts

I know the second half wasn’t the performance anyone wanted, but the ability to win on the road in a raucous environment is an improvement over what we saw from this team early in the season.

FSU blew large second-half leads against Syracuse and South Carolina in the first 10 games of the season. However, they’ve been able to close games during the winning streak. FSU basketball has a great opportunity to make the NCAA Tournament with several winnable games in the next couple of weeks. They will travel to Georgia Tech Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.