Florida State was down 13 in the second half. But the Seminoles have shown time and time again that they have the depth and defense to overcome those deficits.
Trent Forrest drove the lane, missed but then grabbed the rebound and then delivered the game winner with three seconds left – a putback basket that secured FSU’s 73-71 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
“We only led for 20 seconds the entire game,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Not very many times you’re going to win a game on the road in the ACC only leading for 20 seconds in the game.”
MJ Walker scored 21 points and Forrest had 15 points and seven rebounds for FSU (25-5, 15-4 ACC), which keeps its chance at securing an ACC regular-season title alive. The Seminoles and Louisville (15-4 ACC) could be ACC regular-season co-champions and both claim the right to raise a banner, although FSU would then earn the No. 1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament at Greensboro.
Notre Dame led by as many as 13 in the second half, but Walker scored 13 straight points for FSU and Devin Vassell’s jumper with 3:20 to go tied the game at 66.
Notre Dame tried to pull away again but Forrest tied it up at 71 with 56.8 seconds with a drive and, after a foul, a made free-throw attempt.
Prentiss Hubb had 22 and John Mooney had his 25th double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. But the Seminoles held Mooney scoreless in the second half and Hubb was held to five points.
Hubb had a desperation shot from just inside midcourt that went off the rim as time expired.
FSU shot 27 of 62 (43.5 percent) from the floor and 5 of 18 from 3-point range, with Walker drilling 4 of 8 3-pointers. And the Seminoles also made 14 of 17 free-throw attempts.
The Seminoles also narrowly defeated Notre Dame 85-84 on Jan. 25. This is the first time since the Fighting Irish joined the conference that FSU has completed a season sweep.
FSU has won five of its last six games and the 15 ACC wins extends the school record. The Seminoles are firmly in position to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, potentially playing first- and second-round games in Tampa.
But first things first: The Seminoles will next play host to Boston College on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the Seminoles’ home regular season finale. And they will honor the team’s senior, Forrest, pregame.