Seminoles lead from start to finish in 78-66 win at Miami
Welcome back, M.J. Walker.
The sophomore guard, who had been struggling mightily to start the ACC season, had his best game of the year on Sunday night in Florida State's 78-66 win over Miami in Coral Gables.
The former McDonald's All-American hit a career-high six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points and five assists as the Seminoles improved to 15-5 overall and 3-4 in the ACC. It was the first conference road win of the season for Florida State, which was just 4-17 in its last 21 games away from home before Sunday.
Walker, who came into the game having made just 4 of 22 from beyond the arc in ACC games, was 6 of 7 against the Hurricanes.
He hit two straight 3's in the first half to spark a critical 15-0 run and then knocked down two more from the baseline during a pivotal run in the second half for the Seminoles, who were 12 of 20 from 3-point range as a team.
After starting off the ACC season ice cold from beyond the arc, Florida State has now made 22 of 42 in its last two games - not coincidentally, the Seminoles won both of those contests.
Super sub Mfiondu Kabengele came off the bench to score 17 points and grab six rebounds. Terance Mann, still hobbled by a heel injury, had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Trent Forrest, who is still hobbled by turf toe, finished with four points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Miami's leading scorer, Chris Lykes, was 0 for 12 from the floor and finished with one point. As a team, Miami shot just 7 of 29 from 3 and could never really threaten Florida State in the second half.
Thanks to that 15-0 run in the late stages of the first half FSU went into the locker room with a 17-point lead. The lead never dipped below double digits over the final 20 minutes.
Eleven different players saw action for the Seminoles and 10 scored, including senior Phil Cofer, who came back from a foot injury to score four points off the bench.
Florida State now has a welcome layoff before playing again on Saturday at home against Georgia Tech. Miami drops to 9-10 overall and 1-6 in league play.