March 10, 2012

Inside the Box Score: FSU ready for UNC rematch

No. 17 Florida
State (23-9)
No. 6 Duke style="font-weight: normal">(27-6) color="White">59

Philips Arena, Atlanta Ga.

color="White">FSU color="White">OPP
FG% 42.1 37.3
3-PT. FG% 27.3 25.0
FREE THROWS 11/14 16/18
Michael Snaer (FSU) 16
Austin Rivers (Duke) 17
Bernard James (FSU) 7
Miles Plumlee (Duke) 11
Michael Snaer (FSU) 6
Seth Curry (Duke) 2
Michael Snaer (FSU) 2
Three players tied (Duke) 2

"It was a heck of a game. I came out proud of our guys, they played winning basketball and when you lose playing winning basketball, just shake and hands and thank God that there is at least one more game ahead"

-- Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the ACC Semifinal loss to FSU.


Five different Seminoles recorded at least one assist


The number of lead changes in the game


FSU scored 34 points in the paint to Duke's 24

Top performers

  • Michael Snaer: Not only did he play suffocating defense but he also had 16 points and six assists.

  • Luke Loucks: Not only did he hit a clutch shot with 12 seconds left to extend the lead but he also had a crucial pair of free throws inside a minute as well.

  • Bernard James: James wasn't slowed by a torn tendon in his thumb as he scored 13 points and had seven rebounds.

Snaer earns his reputation

ATLANTA-- After watching Duke connect on 13 three-pointers during a Feb. 23 loss in Tallahassee , Florida State guard Michael Snaer vowed to not let the Blue Devils get hot from behind the arc on Saturday.

Snaer was a nightmare all afternoon for the Blue Devils as they connected on just 5 of 20 3-point attempts in the 62-59 loss in the ACC tournament semifinals at Philips Arena.

Snaer bounced around from all three of the Blue Devils' 3-point threats, guarding Seth Curry, Austin Rivers and Andre Dawkins at different points in the game.

"I pretty much decided who I wanted to guard at certain points of the game," Snaer said. "Guys heating up or if I knew certain guys were going to take certain shots and start being aggressive. I just made sure I got on them."

Throughout the game Snaer made life on the perimeter tough for Duke, but it really paid off in the final 12 seconds of the game as Rivers tired to get free but couldn't get a clean look and was off the mark.

After the game Duke head coach Mike Kryzyzewksi gushed about Snaer, calling him the best competitor in the ACC for the second time this season.

"He's an outstanding athlete, smart, I think he's the best competitor in our league and he wants to play defense," Krzyzewski said. "He's just such a great competitor and he never seems to get tired. He just has great will."

Once he was finished complimenting Snaer in the press conference, Coach K sought out the junior guard from Moreno Valley, Calif. in the Seminoles' locker room to congratulate him on the great game as he got into the cold tub.

Snaer said that the comments from Kryzewski meant a lot to him, but he thinks that the rest of his team is just as competitive as he is.

Senior guard Luke Loucks disagrees.

"(Mike's) definitely the most competitive guy I've ever met in my life," Loucks said. "He hates losing more than he likes to win. Anytime, whether it's a drill in practice to video games, anything. I mean the guy just competes his heart out and I'm so glad he's my teammate."

In addition to his stifling defense, Snaer scored a team-high 16 points on the offensive end to go along with six assists, two blocks, two steals, and four rebounds.

FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said the reason Snaer is so respected throughout the league is the work he puts in throughout the year in the gym.

"Mike is the only guy that I know that will be fussing at himself in the gym when he's shooting free throws," Hamilton said. "Sometimes the words that come out of his mouth I can't repeat them in here. I've never seen anybody that works as hard. He's a gym rat. He's there late, he's there early."

Heels will be looking for revenge

In a season that has featured a number of drastic turns and head scratching moments, perhaps none stand out quite like FSU's 90-57 blowout victory over North Carolina.

On Sunday the Tar Heels will get the chance to try and avenge that loss as they face FSU in the ACC Championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

"They're definitely going to be motivated," FSU guard Deividas Dulkys said of UNC. "That was an embarrassment for their program, but we're fired up too. We want this as much as they do and this is going to be two great teams going at each other."

In the first matchup, Dulkys scored a career-high 32 points as he knocked down eight 3-point shots.

As a team FSU hit 12 three-pointers as they handed UNC its worst loss under coach Roy Williams.

Snaer said that with the way FSU is playing right now he feels that even if the first match-up hadn't been so lopsided in the 'Noles favor that he would have plenty of confidence going into Sunday's championship game.

"We can't think about that game and try use that game or we're going to get beat," he said. "We can't think it's going to be easy or we're going to beat them by 30. It's North Carolina. It's not going to be that easy. We feel like it's going to be a dog fight to the last second."

The only thing FSU knows they can expect in its second match up with the Tar Heels, is that Dulkys won't find himself alone on the court at any point in the game.

"I never do anymore," he said with a smile.

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