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Snaer Buzzer Beater Helps Seminoles Sneak Past Terrapins

Michael Snaer did it again on Wednesday evening. Just a week removed from beating Clemson in epic fashion after a contested game-winning three-pointer, Snaer provided an encore in front of his home crowd at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee, beating Maryland 73-71 on a last-second three pointer.

"I'm supposed to make that shot. In the course of the game I'm supposed to make that shot every single time," said Snaer after the game. "I'm kind of used to those type of situations now, I guess you get used to it, you get used to doing it. And plus when it leaves your hand and it just feels so good and you make it, it's just not too much of a surprise.

"But you know, I'm getting used to it. I'm a confident player, I trust it's going in. I don't have to act a fool too many times, I just did that last week so I can kind of calm down a little this week."

It was a bail-out for Florida State though- who won in spite of being out-played in the paint by the Terrapins. Michael Snaer saved the Seminoles once again on Wednesday.

As Florida State moves forward with its ACC schedule its achilles heel continues to be rebounding. For the seventh time in seven games the Seminoles were out-rebounded by an ACC opponent, losing the rebound battle to Maryland 36-20 even as they managed to escape with the game.

"It's very hard to win a basketball game when your opponent shoots 53% in the second half and you get out-rebounded by 16," said head coach Leonard Hamilton. "But I think what made a difference tonight was we weren't turning the ball over and giving them a lot of extra possessions."

That and Snaer's late-game heroics.

The first half was tightly contested. Maryland jumped out to an early advantage but Florida State used a 9-0 run to retake the lead and the two teams headed into the locker-room tied up at 34 after the opening 20 minutes.

Snaer was effective at the out-set, at one point providing an assist and five points in three consecutive trips down the court to get the Seminole offense rolling early.

But an awkward landing on a dish inside to freshman center Boris Bojanovsky flared up on Snaer a few minutes later and limited him for much of the first half. He finished leading the Seminoles in scoring with eight points in the opening period despite the sore ankle.

For the Terrapins, 44% first half shooting was wiped out by 10 turnovers. Even despite out-rebounding the Seminoles 20-8 in the opening period, being -6 in turnovers was enough to mitigate anything Maryland was doing well in the first half and send both squads into the locker room tied.

The second half continued to be a back-and-forth affair. Both teams traded baskets and free throws as the first ten minutes of the second half wound down. That trend continued throughout the rest of the game with neither team leading by more than six at any point in the final period.

The game got really tight in the final minutes though.

After a designed play on an in-bounds from junior forward Okaro White found redshirt freshman center Kiel Turpin under the basket for an emphatic dunk, junior guard Ian Miller hit a two-point jumper to tie the game at 66 with just over two minutes to play.

Maryland quickly responded and it made it 69-66 on a Dez Wells three-pointer though.

Okaro White drew the foul on the Seminoles’ ensuing possession and knocked down both free throws to make it a one-point game with 1:43 left to play. But Wells sunk a long two on the Terrapins’ next trip down the floor to extend the Maryland lead to three again.

Michael Snaer made it a one-point game inside of 45 seconds and the Terrapins took a timeout with 30 remaining and a 71-70 advantage to try and close things out.

Maryland attempted to find Alex Len under the hoop after the in-bounds but an alley-oop ended with Okaro White coming down with a contested rebound that was awarded to Florida State.

With 8.9 seconds and the ball on their end of the court the Seminoles looked for magic for the second time in a week. After beating Clemson on a Snaer buzzer beater just seven days earlier at the Tucker Center, Florida State in-bounded the ball, made several passes and found Snaer on the wing for the go-ahead three with just 1.1 seconds remaining.

"Yes," said freshman center Michael Ojo through a huge grin when asked if he thought the final shot was going in.

"He shot it with confidence, I've been watching Snaer for a year now since I [made the decision] to come to FSU. I watched all his buzzer-shots against Duke, against Virginia [Tech] last year, so he's capable of knocking them down. And when he's in a groove, it was a good shot."

Once again, the Seminoles’ senior guard bailed them out. To nobody's surprise.

After being out-rebounded all evening a Michael Snaer three-pointer at the buzzer gave Florida State another victory and helped keep the 'Noles' ACC and NCAA tourney hopes alive.

Snaer finished as the night’s leading scorer, dropping 19 (in spite of the issues with his ankle) and also adding four rebounds and three assists. Okaro White had 14 and Ian Miller, playing on a bad foot of his own, contributed 10 points.

For Maryland Dez Wells had 19 also to lead the Terps, but star center Alex Len was limited to just four points and five rebounds, largely due to foul trouble.

Next up for Florida State is fifth-ranked Duke on Saturday...

Notebook: Ian Miller, who is not practicing as he tries to rest a foot injury, had ten points and played 22 minutes on Wednesday night... Michael Ojo played 14 minutes and was well-received by the Seminole faithful, despite having just two points and three rebounds, he is rapidly becoming a fan favorite in Tallahassee... On the game-winning play, the original look was for Okaro White but Kiel Turpin forgot to set the screen. Michael Snaer was to follow Ian Miller inside but after Miller stumbled, Snaer spotted up outside and hit the game-winner... After the game Leonard Hamilton lamented the roll Michael Snaer has been forced into this season, instead of being a finisher as he has been most of his career Snaer is in a role as a facilitator more this season and it's been a strain for him at times... Hamilton said an effort is being made to play Snaer less earlier in games so he's fresh for the finish at the end... Florida State finished the day with 14 assists and just six turnovers, Hamilton attributed that to the way FSU scripted its offense to try and mask their inexperience heading into the game... Okaro White said after the game he's unsure what to attribute the Seminoles' rebounding woes to, but admitted it needed to be addressed before Duke heads to Tallahassee this weekend.

 

Follow Patrik Nohe on twitter for all the latest Florida State Seminoles news and updates.

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