FSU Wins in OT at Miami: 3 Game-Changing Plays

I hated every second of this game. Except for the last 3:34 and OT. And even that wasn’t fun besides the result.


Florida State has now had back to back really sloppy games. The difference is the Virginia game was intentionally ugly, this was just bad execution.

However, a win is and always will still be a win.

Florida State just does not know how to quit, and you have to love that. The ‘Noles were down 7 with 3:34 remaining in regulation, but outscored Miami by 11 through the end of regulation and overtime to win 83-79. This team is incredible in clutch situations, and there were plenty of them in this game.

The ‘Noles won a sloppy game on the road in the conference, something a lot of top-10 teams can’t say this week.

Before we get to the plays, some box score notes.

Chris Lykes is ANNOYING, and I cannot stress that enough. He was hitting big shot after big shot, especially down the stretch. He finished with a game-high 24 points for Miami, but also had 6 turnovers. His play is reckless and out of control at time, but 6 turnovers is high for him. He did a great job playing on a banged up ankle and provided a gutsy performance, credit to him.

Miami turned the ball over 24 times, leading to a lot of transition opportunities for Florida State. The Seminoles also blocked a whopping 10 Miami shots. The score may not looks like FSU was trying on defense, but they were active all game.

Devin Vassell was spectacular for the ‘Noles, leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists… a statline of 23 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks isn’t too shabby. It’s also Vassell’s second straight game with a career high in points.

MJ Walker sat most of the first half with 2 quick fouls, but was great in the final 3:34 of regulation, making two 3s and knocking down 3/3 free throws. He was prematurely named Play of the Game, but still had a great performance with 19 points and 2 assists.

Anthony Polite was once again really solid and steady for Leonard Hamilton, and he honestly needs to start seeing more time. His confidence flows throughout the lineup, and he added another 10 points and 5 steals today. His defense is spectacular.

This game was won at the free throw line, as FSU went 15/18 from the stripe compared to 10/17 for Miami. Miami was better from the field and from 3, but the turnovers and free throw shooting handicapped the Hurricanes.

Onto the plays, and there are a ton to choose from.

Play 1

Scenario: The Final 3:34

I’m cheating here and including three plays in one; sue me.

The first was MJ’s 3 following his free throws.

It was the exact same thing that happened with Anthony Polite’s game-tying 3 against Virginia, just two quick swing passes, and a corner trey.

This made it a 3-point game, and it finally felt like the game was turning a corner.

Then Anthony Polite does a great job of disrupting Chris Lykes here, and forces a turnover.

Devin Vassell recovers the loose ball and kicks it ahead to Polite, who gets a breakaway dunk. This brought it to a 1-point game. Chris Lykes would hit a tough jumper to get it back to 3, but it wouldn’t be that way long.

MJ Walker. Ice. Water.

This capped off an 11-4 run for Florida State in the final 3:34, and they gave themselves a chance to win it at the end.

Play 2

Scenario: Final Play of Regulation, Trent Forrest has the ball

Honestly, I like this look Forrest got. Are mid-range jumpers his specialty? Maybe not, but this is a ton of separation.

Really, the only thing I don’t like is the lack of off-ball movement. Everyone else on the floor needs to be moving around, trying to create confusion for the defense. Instead, Miami is able to recognize what is happening, and Vasiljevic tells Lykes to to stay in that gap and help.

The ballscreen maybe could’ve come a few seconds earlier, but I really have no complaints with this. It ensured Miami couldn’t get another shot.

Play 3

Scenario: Overtime, 2:30 left- Malik Osborne gets a post-up, tie game

The funny thing about this play is I had just been having a conversation on Twitter with a few people, saying more college teams needed to run more post-ups in late game game situations, because even if you miss you’re likely to draw a foul. I said we didn’t have much of a post threat on this year’s team.

I will never doubt you again Mozzy. Forgive me.

This play set the energy for the rest of OT. Osborne really has energy that spreads throughout the team, and is the glue guy on this year’s squad.

Play 4

Scenario: 50 seconds remaining in OT

Extra time in the game = extra play in the article.

Devin Vassell remains having ice water in his veins as well.

Forrest did a great job at deceiving the defense into thinking he was going to attack off the dribble, before he dumps it to Vassell. Since Vassell caught the ball facing the defense, he knew immediately that he was going to have enough space to shoot.


That’s not an easy shot by any stretch of the imagination; he is a foot behind the arc, with a closeout coming, and he still drains it. This may have not been the dagger, since Chris Lykes did Chris Lykes things, but it was still what felt like the final nail in the coffin.

Florida State gets a week off before taking on Notre Dame at home on Saturday at 8pm on the ACC Network. Watch out for the polls on Monday Morning, FSU has a great chance to be top-5.

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