Jan. 24, 2013
Donald L. Tucker Center // Tallahassee, Fla.
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- His right arm beating his chest, Michael Snaer had one thing to say as he sprinted the length of the floor in the euphoric aftermath of the Florida State men's basketball team's 60-57 come-from-behind win over Clemson Thursday night.
"This is my house!" he shouted a trio of times just moments after his banked-in, buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Seminoles their one and only second-half lead against the Tigers at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Indeed it is. Eleven months after drilling a game-winner against Virginia Tech from nearly the exact same spot on the floor, "Big-Shot Snaer" did it once again.
"When the shot went in, I really said in my head, 'I can't believe I did that again,'" Snaer said. "For that to happen again, it feels great to be able to do that for Florida State. As much as this program and this community has done for me, to do that is just amazing."
"There's no one on the team we'd rather shoot the three anyway," redshirt junior forward Kiel Turpin added. "We s aw there was like eight seconds left we were like, 'Ah, it's going to Mike.'"
That win last February was FSU's (11-7, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) second in a row but this one this year helped the 'Noles' prevent two consecutive losses become three, and in the process give them their first sweep of Clemson (10-8, 2-4) since 2009. It also propelled them back towards the top of the muddled conference standings.
And how they got there is important. After getting blasted on the boards in a loss to North Carolina and then managing just 36 points in a setback at Virginia, FSU could have folded Clemson reeled off 14 unanswered points in the first half. Instead, Florida State rattled off five straight points before exiting to the locker room at halftime.
Then Tuprin, who saw his minutes increase because of the neck injury Terrance Shannon sustained against the Cavaliers, got going.
In what was his best game as a Seminole, Turpin capped off a 15-4 run in the second half with a pair of free throws to tie the game at 44-44 with a little more than six minutes left in the ballgame. The finished the game with a career-best and team-high 16 points -- all of which were registered in the second half -- as one of four 'Noles that scored in double figures. He also notched four of FSU's nine blocks.
"He played well; he played very well," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "He made big free throws and a couple nice baskets when they needed him. He's going to be a good player."
Snaer finished with 11 points but his final five tallies were the most important. His runner off the backboard made it a 55-54 Clemson lead with 1:27 remaining on the game clock and his Tiger-taming triple at the horn came on the heels of a Devon Booker 3-pointer that had knotted the score at 57-57 following an FSU timeout. Bookert finished the night with 11 points and just one turnover. Okaro White posted 10 points despite battling with foul trouble most of the night.
Aaron Thomas added five points for FSU.
Devin Booker and K.J. McDaniels scored 15 points apiece for the Tigers, who lost 71-66 to FSU in both team's ACC opener earlier this month.
FSU shot 41.3 percent from the field for the game but was 52 percent on 11-of-21 shooting after halftime. Clemson was held to 40.7 percent shooting overall and an 18.8-percent mark from 3-point range while the Seminoles were 36.4 percent from behind the arc. Most importantly, FSU was 18-of-20 from the free-throw line.
Florida State pressured Clemson into committing 13 turnovers but none was bigger than the shot-clock violation they forced with just eight seconds left after that big Bookert 3-pointer had tied the game.
We'd like for our guys to play a little bit more aggressive and create for each other to gain a little bit more confidence," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "In the first half I think we were extremely tentative. In the second half I thought we were a lot more aggressive."
Florida State's next contest will be a sold-out one at Miami. The Hurricanes, who lead the ACC with a 5-0 league record, are coming off a victory over No. 1 Duke earlier this week and will host the 'Noles Sunday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.