Feb. 24, 2012
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Just like two weeks ago, Florida State will have to regroup from a loss by playing against in-state rival Miami.
After falling to Duke in a hard-fought battle at home, No. 15/16 FSU has redemption on its mind against a Hurricanes (15-9, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) squad that will again try to serve as a road block in the Seminoles' journey back to the win column.
It's a familiar position for the 'Noles (19-8, 10-3) as they were faced with the same task earlier this month.
Boston College had just ended FSU's seven-game winning streak just like the Blue Devils halted the 'Noles' three-game streak Thursday night. Florida State answered that loss with a 64-59 win over the Hurricanes at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Feb. 11.
Now it's off to the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables where the Seminoles will look to once again rebound from a rare ACC defeat.
"Sometimes it's not always that you're defeated it's how you respond to it," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We challenge our players to not necessarily accept the loss but understand, learn from it, grow from it and let's go back and record and bounce back from a bitter defeat, hold our heads up high and move on."
The 'Noles moved on from that loss to the Eagles by riding Bernard James' hot hand in the first win over Miami.
James tied his career high with 18 points in a game that saw him have to match up with the Hurricanes' 6-foot-10, 290-pound center, Reggie Johnson. James limited Johnson to just four points with the help of FSU's defensive pressure by its guards and a similar gameplan will have to be utilized Sunday in the rematch.
In that first meeting, FSU ended Miami's five-game winning streak. This time around, the Hurricanes are still looking to find their winning touch as they have just one win since that trip to Tallahassee.
Despite the loss to Duke and its drop from first to second in the ACC standings, Florida State is still in contention to win the league's regular-season title and claim a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
"We've got three more games remaining in the season," Hamilton said. "This time of year you've got to stay focused. We still have a lot to play for."