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February 1, 2012
Leading the team is nothing new for Michael Snaer, and on a night defined by sloppy play, fouls and turnovers, he once again came through for the Seminoles.
The junior put up 21 points, and went 5-of-7 from beyond the arc as Florida State defeated Georgia Tech 68-54. The 'Noles set a record with the win, starting 6-1 in the ACC for the first time in school history.
The Seminoles shot just 34.8 percent from the floor while committing 11 turnovers in the first half. After Florida State blew an early nine point lead, Georgia Tech matched the 'Noles point for point and took a one point lead into halftime.
"Georgia Tech did a very good job of defending us in the first half," Coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Georgia Tech saw its lead fade as the 'Noles came into the second half shooting, having made major halftime adjustment. Snaer was an integral part of the second half surge.
"Mike had some good looks and some open looks and he made them pay and knocked them down,"Luke Loucks said. We weren't running any special plays for him, we were just moving the ball and Mike does a great job of moving without the ball to get himself in a position to score."
Snaer scored five points in the first half and hit 16 more in the second half, draining four three pointers. Three of Snaer's scores from beyond the arc came in the last five minutes of play, when FSU was working to put the game away. With five steals and a rebound, Snaer also set the pace for the defense.
"He's much improved. . .his defense sets the whole tone for everybody else," Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory said. "Almost anything you get offensively - is because he can really impact the game with his defense and pressure like he did tonight."
In the second half, Snaer got a little help from his friends. Bernard James scored four points in the first half, but knocked down nine in the second. James also snatched a total of eight rebounds. Loucks added five assists in the second, as well as four points. The three combined for 43 points.
"We got a good flow going here, I don't want to mess it up by any type of selfish playing," Snaer said. "Just shooting the ball every chance I get, that's just gonna mess up the rhythm of our offense, and I wanna keep it that way. If I had four points tonight, I would just be happy with the win."
The team looks ahead to Virginia on Saturday, a top 25 matchup that will gain more national attention.
"We're definitely not satisfied. We know we've got work ahead of us, especially this Saturday. We're playing a top 25 team. This will definitely be a test for us," James said. "I think the way we got things going in the second half, we'll be able to carry that over into Saturday."