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February 16, 2012

FSU escapes Virginia Tech 48-47



Video Highlights: FSU 48, VT 47

As it left his hand Michael Snaer knew he had done it again for Florida State.

After trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, FSU had climbed all the way back and Snaer knocked down a three-pointer with just two seconds left on the clock to give No. 20 FSU the improbable 48-47 win over Virginia Tech.

"I felt like it was (good)," he said. " I was like this might be-- Yeah!"

For the majority of the night things weren't going Snaer's way shooting the ball. The junior guard was just 3 of 10 from the field and 0 for 3 from three-point range prior to hitting the game winner to finish with nine points.

Still when Jeff Peterson got the ball down by two points with 10 seconds left, Snaer wanted the ball.

"Mike is very confident in his ability to knock a shot down because he's a gym rat," head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "He's in the gym so much knocking those shots down that he has confidence. So it doesn't bother him that he's missed several. He's confident mentally, emotionally, that if he gets a good look the next one's going down."

Snaer's shot gave FSU its first lead since the 19:31 mark in the second half. The Seminoles took a 25-23 lead into the half but came out flat in the second half.

The Hokies took control of the game pushing their lead all the way out to 15 points with a 17-0 run in first six minutes of the second half and led 40-27.

"It was the scariest moment of the season for me," Snaer said of the Hokies run. "Just being out there and seeing how they were playing and how the lead was getting. It was scary for me just knowing that this is our championship-- it flashed before my eyes. It's slipping right thorough our fingers right now and I just couldn't let this happen."

FSU began to chip away at the lead and cut it to six points with 1:13 left in the game thanks to a three from Peterson, who finished the game with five points.

Tech was unable to put FSU away in the second half going 4 of 11 from the free throw line, missing seven of its final eight attempts. Coming into the game the Hokies were second in the ACC with a free-throw percentage of .755.

"We got the ball at the end of the game to the people we wanted to get the ball to," Hokies' head coach Seth Greenberg said. "Our best free throw shooters. On the rare occasion they didn't make them, but those are the guys at the end of the game I'd want shooting the ball."

With 45 seconds left FSU cut the lead to just two points on a three-pointer from Ian Miller, who finished with a team-high 11 points. After Miller's three VT ran the clock down to 13 seconds and Dorian Finney-Smith missed from three, but Jarrell Eddie came down with offensive rebound for the Hokies.

Eddie was injured on the play so Robert Brown stepped to the line with a two-point lead to attempt two free throws with 10 seconds left. Brown missed both and Deividas Dulkys came down with the rebound on the second miss.

He gave it to Peterson who raced up the left side of the floor and kicked it back across the court to Snaer on the wing, in almost the same spot he hit a game-winner earlier in the year against Duke, for the game-winner.

"I just ended up driving left and saw that Mike's man was helping in and all the credit goes to him," Peterson said. "He made a big shot."

The shot allowed FSU to improve to 18-7 overall and 9-2 in the ACC to remain in a tie with North Carolina and Duke for first place in the league.

The win erased a disappointing night offensively for FSU, who turned it over 15 times and connected on just 1 of its 8 free throw attempts.

"I was pleased for our kids but in my mind I was thinking Gosh we dodged a bullet tonight," Hamilton said. "Let's not take this for granted and lets come back and get better prepared for Saturday's game."



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