Florida State rallies from 16 down to beat No. 23 Miami

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Florida State weathered a rough start and rallied from 16 down to upset No. 23 Miami, 55-54, on Sunday afternoon for an ACC home win. The Seminoles turned the ball over eight times in their first 18 possessions and found themselves down by 11 at the half.

Center Kiel Turpin’s basket with 1:38 left proved to be the game winner for Florida State (12-10, 4-5) and Miami’s Shelden McClellan missed a runner as time expired during a disjointed final possession from the Hurricanes.

Thanks to a tremendous outing from junior wing Montay Brandon, Florida State’s offense got just enough going to get by the Hurricanes. Brandon (18 points) finished a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and had an emphatic dunk in the second half to give the Seminoles a much-needed shot in the arm.

The defense for Florida State also stepped up in the second half, limiting Miami (14-7, 4-4) to only 18 total points as Angel Rodriguez (eight points) and Shelden McClellan (13 points) were both off from 3-point range. The duo combined to shoot 5-for-15 from distance on the afternoon.

A loss at Florida State caps a really bad week for the Hurricanes, as they also lost by 20 to Georgia Tech at home earlier this week. While Miami has looked great at times this season — and had a nice two-game stretch with wins over N.C. State and Syracuse — they just didn’t look like a NCAA Tournament team this week by losing to inferior teams and blowing a big lead.

These are the types of games that Miami can’t afford to lose for the rest of the season if they want to be in the NCAA Tournament conversation.

As for the Seminoles, this is their first win over a ranked opponent since December of 2013. Florida State isn’t likely making the Big Dance this season, but they’ve owned the Sunshine State this season with a perfect 6-0 record against in-state opponents.

Miami hosts the rematch of this contest on Feb. 25.