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No. 15 Florida State back on track with win at Miami, 75-57

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — The Florida State Seminoles knew they were back on track in the final minutes Wednesday night when they nursed a big lead with the arena mostly deserted, aside from clusters of maroon-clad spectators cheering for the visitors.

The Seminoles had sent Miami’s fans home early.

Jonathan Isaac scored 15 points and No. 15 Florida State held the Hurricanes scoreless for more than 6½ minutes in the second half to snap a two-game skid by winning 75-57.

The sellout crowd was raucous until coach Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles pulled away.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to do that, to come on the road and silence an amazing crowd like that,” guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes said. “That’s something Coach L talks about — there’s nothing better than going on the road and silencing the fans.”

The win was a bounce-back game for the Seminoles (19-4, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who lost to unranked teams twice last week after going 5-1 during a stretch against opponents that were all ranked.

“We don’t get down when we falter, because you can’t have a pity party,” Hamilton said. “You’ve got to understand life in the ACC. You’re not going to win them all.”

The Seminoles also snapped a streak of three consecutive losses against Miami (14-7, 4-5).

“Their effort and intensity and execution in the second half kept us from scoring,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said. “And we were never able to get stops enough to make a run on our own.”

Florida State shot 52 percent and went 14 for 15 from the free throw line.

The Hurricanes were outscored 44-23 in the second half and lost for only the second time in their past 25 home games. Bruce Brown had 17 points to lead the Hurricanes, who went 2 for 11 from 3-point range and had trouble finding room to maneuver against the taller Seminoles.

“We weren’t getting to the rim and were taking rushed shots,” Brown said.

Florida State held Miami without a point for 6:37 early in the second half, forcing five turnovers while scoring 13 consecutive points to take a 47-36 lead. The Hurricanes were never closer than seven the rest of the way.

Dwayne Bacon had 15 points for the Seminoles. Rathan-Mayes added 13, including three 3-pointers.

RARELY MISSING

Isaac shot 5 for 7 and added seven rebounds and three steals in 25 minutes. The freshman made an acrobatic layup, a 3-pointer and two free throws on consecutive possessions to put the Seminoles ahead 58-46.

“The ball was just finding me, and I was a little more aggressive,” Isaac said.

“When you’re that efficient, that makes you really hard to guard,” Larranaga said.

DROUGHT

Florida State trailed by seven points in the first half and was down 34-31 at halftime. Miami took a 36-34 lead a minute into the second half but didn’t score again until the 12:20 mark.

“The second half, our defense tightened up a little bit,” Hamilton said.

BIG PICTURE

Florida State: Hamilton projects that 10 or 11 ACC teams will make the NCAA Tournament. “The quality of our league is at an all-time high,” he said. “I’m not real sure the nation has caught up to what is happening.”

Miami: The young Hurricanes are at the halfway point in their conference season and in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. “It puts us in a position where we need to be very, very hungry from now on,” Larranaga said.

UP NEXT

Florida State plays at home Sunday against Clemson.

Miami plays at North Carolina State on Saturday.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.