GAME NOTES: Both the Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles are looking to bounce back from losses as they clash in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Miami has lost back-to-back games against Pittsburgh and NC State, the latter being a 56-55 tight loss on Saturday. The Hurricanes are 2-8 in the ACC this season, which is tied for second to last in the conference.
Florida State is coming off an 83-71 defeat at the hands of Maryland in ACC play, which piles on to Florida State's recent woes. The Seminoles have lost four of their last five games in conference play, leaving them 5-6 in the ACC.
Still, Florida State holds a 10-game advantage over Miami in the all-time series, 41-31, which includes a Florida State 63-53 win earlier this season. Miami is 6-27 on the road against the 'Noles.
NC State shot just 35 percent in the second half of Saturday's game against Miami, but it helped the Wolfpack that the 'Canes only connected on 28.6 percent of their shots in the frame. Rion Brown scored 20 points to pace Miami, adding five rebounds to his stat line. Manu Lecomte netted 13 points and Garrius Adams added 10 in the losing effort.
Brown is the only Miami player to average a scoring total in the double digits this season. The star of the Hurricanes nets 14.6 ppg this season on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor, adding a team-best 6.1 rpg average to his resume. Adams is the next closest to Brown's total at 9.8 ppg with a team-high 65 assists and 32 steals on the year. Miami is averaging just 61 ppg, but is holding its opponents to 59.3 ppg.
Maryland jumped way out ahead of Florida State in the first half of Saturday's ACC showdown, and the Seminoles never were able to answer. The Terrapins cruised through the second half and, although Florida State outscored Maryland in the period, the lead was never in danger. Aaron Thomas scored a team-high 17 points with eight rebounds for the 'Noles, who fell below .500 in the conference standings. Devon Bookert netted 14 points, Okaro White chipped in 12 and Montay Brandon added 11 in the losing effort.
Thomas has recently taken over the role as the team's leading scorer with Ian Miller out after suffering a sprained ankle several games ago. Thomas got just his third start of the season against Maryland, and is averaging 13.2 ppg on 46.7 percent shooting. Miller, who is doubtful to return against intrastate rival Miami, is second with 12.7 ppg, tied with White. White leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 rpg.
Florida State already has a head-to-head win over Miami this season on the road, and the 'Canes have historically struggled in Tallahassee. Although Miller likely won't play in his third straight game for the Seminoles, Florida State should have enough offense to down Miami.
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