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College Basketball
Shane Larkin helps Miami beat Florida State 74-68, improve to 11-0 in ACC
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Shane Larkin helps Miami beat Florida State 74-68, improve to 11-0 in ACC

Shane Larkin helps Miami beat Florida State 74-68, improve to 11-0 in ACC
Photo Credit: Steve Cannon
Miami's Shane Larkin looks for an opening in the Florida State defense in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Tallahassee, Fla. Miami held off Florida State to win 74-68. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Shane Larkin helps Miami beat Florida State 74-68, improve to 11-0 in ACC

Shane Larkin drove, dished and shot. Almost everything he did Wednesday night was the right move — especially late in the second half.

The Miami point guard scored nine points late in the game as the No. 3 Hurricanes overcame a furious Florida State rally to grab a 74-68 win at the Donald L. Tucker Center for their 12th straight victory.

Larkin scored a game-high 22 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the field, and Reggie Johnson added 14 points and eight rebounds as the Hurricanes improved to 11-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Shane Larkin is all about winning,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “He is going to do whatever he thinks the team needs him to do. I thought Shane did a great job.”

The Hurricanes (20-3, 11-0 ACC) have won 20 games in four straight seasons and are the only team from college basketball’s power conferences to be undefeated in league play.

Miami shot 63.8 percent for the game, making 30 of 47 attempts. Johnson made all five of his shots, Durand Scott added 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and Julian Gamble had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Johnson’s play was key off the bench, as he scored eight first-half points as the Hurricanes rallied from an early 13-2 deficit.

“I really thought Reggie was the difference,” Larranaga said of the 6-foot-10, 290-pound center.

Okaro White had 15 points for FSU (13-11, 5-6), but he fouled out with 2:04 left in the game. The Seminoles trailed 51-39 but scored 12 straight points to tie the game with 10:10 to go on White’s tip-in. However, Larkin scored nine points in a stretch that lasted just over three minutes to put Miami back in control.

FSU, which has won three ACC games this year on buzzer-beaters, had its chances to tie the game or slice the deficit. But Ian Miller missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 25 seconds to go and then, with Miami ahead by four and 15 seconds left, Michael Snaer missed a 3-pointer.

“I thought we showed a lot of fight,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.

The Seminoles had won six straight games at home against Miami, a streak that dated to January 2006.

And Miami couldn’t have started worse, falling behind 13-2 in the opening minutes. But then the Hurricanes put on an impressive shooting display.

UM made 73.9 percent of its shots in the first half, going on a 20-5 run and capitalizing on FSU’s struggles to defend in the lane. But even a 38-30 lead at the half wasn’t safe late until Miami sealed the win in the final minute.

FSU has beaten six top 5 teams in the past three seasons but has struck out in 2012-13. The Seminoles have played three of the nation’s current top seven teams — No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Miami and No. 7 Florida — and lost the games against the Blue Devils and Gators by 19 and 25 points, respectively. But the Seminoles looked different Wednesday, at least early.

But in the end, FSU fell short and missed out on another chance to improve its postseason resume. The Seminoles have beaten a top 25 team in each of the last 22 seasons but don’t have one so far this season.

Miami, which had never been ranked higher than eighth nationally before this season, hasn’t lost since Christmas Day.

The ‘Canes cracked the Associated Press Top 25 just three weeks ago and rocketed toward the top on the strength of several impressive victories. Miami became the first ACC team to beat both North Carolina and Duke by at least 25 points in the same season with an 87-61 win over the Tar Heels last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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