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Evans’ free throws cap FSU’s late surge

RayQuan Evans drove to the basket, drew the foul and drilled the free throws.

Florida State’s streak against Miami was salvaged with less than a second to spare.

Evans made two free-throw attempts with .8 seconds to go as Florida State escaped with a thrilling 65-64 win over Miami on Tuesday night, handing the Hurricanes their first ACC loss of the season.

“That moment was huge,” Evans said. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of adversity both team-wise and in my personal life. … It was a big team win. I’m glad we got that team win because it’s something we can build on, especially going into the Syracuse game. It’s just a moment you’ll never forget. I thank my teammates for that. I thank the fans. I thank the coaching staff and everybody involved. It was a very special moment.”

FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said: “He stepped right up with poise, an extreme amount of confidence. I was very, very pleased with his body language. It just said, ‘I’m glad I’m on this line and I want to win this for my brothers.’ “

The game featured a dramatic, back-and-forth final minute. Charlie Moore knocked down a 3-pointer after a pair of Miami misses and offensive rebounds with seven seconds to go, giving Miami a 64-63 lead. On FSU’s previous possession, Malik Osborne hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down that put the Seminoles ahead 61-60.

Evans had 11 points, four rebounds and two steals, his best outing since scoring 14 in the season opener against Penn. Matthew Cleveland scored 15 points — 11 in the second half — and put together a fourth straight ACC game where he finished in double figures.

“That was an important victory for us against an outstanding basketball team,” Hamilton said.

Anthony Polite added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Seminoles (9-5, 3-2 ACC), which have won eight straight games against Miami, a streak that dates to the 2017-18 season.

Osborne fought through a foot injury and had seven points and eight rebounds for FSU, which shot 23 of 54 (42.6 percent) from the floor, 6 of 20 (30 percent) from 3-point range and 13 of 16 (81.3 percent) from the free-throw line.

Charlie Moore had 20 points and Kameron McGusty had 17 points for Miami (13-4, 5-1 ACC), which led most of the way but cooled off in the final minutes and made just 1 of its final 7 shots.

FSU’s bench outscored Miami 25-0. And FSU out rebounded Miami 37-25, although the Hurricanes made some critical late boards.

The Seminoles have now given Louisville and the Hurricanes their first ACC losses in back-to-back home games.

Florida State scored 22 of its 28 first-half points in the paint as guards drove the lane with aggression that they hadn’t displayed in previous games, trying to keep pace with Miami early. The Hurricanes held a 29-28 lead at the break. Polite (six points), Evans (six points) and Cleveland (four points) had the most success on drives to the basket early.

Box score

The FSU-Miami box score can be viewed here.

Up next

FSU will play at Syracuse on Saturday at 3 p.m. (ESPN2). The Seminoles’ next home game is against Duke on Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. (ESPN).

FSU-UNF game rescheduled

The FSU-UNF game has been rescheduled for Jan. 20 (a Thursday) at noon. No TV or streaming information has been set at this time.