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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Durand Scott scored 17 points and Miami beat No. 15 Florida State 78-62 on Sunday night, snapping a six-game losing streak to the rival Seminoles with a victory that enhances its NCAA tournament resume.
Kenny Kadji added 15 points for the Hurricanes (17-10, 8-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who pulled into a tie with Virginia for fourth place in the conference standings.
Miami played without starting center Reggie Johnson, declared ineligible by the school an hour before the game after an investigation revealed members of his family had received benefits not allowed under NCAA rules. According to a statement released by the university, “Johnson was unaware of the benefits and his family was told they were permissible by a member of the former basketball coaching staff.”
Miami is seeking a quick resolution from the NCAA in an attempt to reinstate Johnson, who is averaging 10.6 points per game.
Michael Snaer scored 20 points to lead third-place Florida State (19-9, 10-4).
The Seminoles rallied from a 59-42 deficit with 5:07 remaining and got within 65-58 on Snaer’s two free throws with 2:39 left.
Scott, Kadji and Shane Larkin each hit two free throws in the next 58 seconds as Miami increased the lead to 71-58. Larkin finished with 13 points.
The Hurricanes expanded a four-point halftime lead and outscored the Seminoles 14-8 in the first 5:15 of the second half. Rion Brown hit the fourth 3-pointer in Miami’s early second-half spurt to increase the lead to 38-28.
Snaer’s three-point play with 10:48 left cut it to 44-35 before the Hurricanes responded with consecutive 3-pointers from Trey McKinney Jones and Malcolm Grant.
Miami shot 7 of 13 from beyond the arc in the second half.
The Hurricanes rallied from an eight-point deficit and took the lead for good with a 13-2 run in the final 4:34 of the first half. Scott scored seven points during the surge and his layup with 22 seconds remaining gave the Hurricanes a 24-20 lead at halftime.
Okaro White scored four points during an 8-0 run for the Seminoles midway through the first half. White’s basket with 5:37 remaining capped the spurt and gave Florida State an 18-11 lead.
Miami was held scoreless for a 7:03 stretch until Scott made the second of two free throw attempts with 4:34 left to cut the Seminoles’ lead to 18-12.
-Miami’s starters for the game were freshman Shane Larkin from Orlando, Fla., senior Malcolm Grant from Brooklyn, N.Y., junior Durand Scott from The Bronx, N.Y, junior Kenny Kadji from Douala, Cameroon and sophomore Rafael Akpejiori from Lagos, Nigeria making his third start of the season.
-With the wins over No. 15/16 Florida State and No. 5 Duke (2/5/12), Miami has defeated a pair of ranked teams in the same season for the first time since 2008-09. The Canes downed No. 7/6 Wake Forest (2/4/09) and No. 24/17 Boston College (1/10/09) that year.
-With six lead changes and being down by seven with five minutes left in the first half, Miami rallied back to lead at the break 24-20. The Hurricanes never looked back after that, never giving up the lead in the second half.
-With the win, Miami defeated FSU for the first time since Jan. 21, 2009 and the Canes are now 29-39 overall in the long time rivalry against the Seminoles.
-Senior DeQuan Jones tied a career high in assists tonight with three. Jones finished with six points, four rebounds and one block.
-Junior Kenny Kadji also notched a season high in steals (4) and blocked shots (5). Kadji also wound up going 4-of-6 from the field and hit five free throws to end with 15 points.
-Miami’s bench continues to produce, scoring 182 points in the past nine games. The reserves have notched at least 20 points in four games – UNC, Wake Forest, Maryland and FSU. Against FSU, Trey McKinney Jones had 11 points, Rion Brown scored nine, DeQuan Jones added six points, and Garrius Adams with one.
-With the win the Hurricanes have now tied their most Atlantic Coast Conference wins in a season with eight. The last time the Canes had eight conference wins was during the 2007-08 season, going 8-8.
-UM is 12-3 at home and 5-7 away from the BankUnited Center this season. In ACC play, Miami is 5-2 in Coral Gables and 3-4 on the road.
-Attendance: 7,261 fans attended tonight’s game, the second-largest crowd to attend a game at the BankUnited Center. The largest attendance was against Duke on Feb. 13, 2011, when 7,972 came out. Earlier this season, 7071 fans watched Miami face UNC, the fifth-most in BankUnited Center history.
-Junior Reggie Johnson was declared ineligible prior to the game and is seeking his immediate reinstatement from the NCAA. In the process of the ongoing joint NCAA-UM inquiry, it was discovered that members of Johnson’s family received impermissible travel benefits from a member of the former basketball coaching staff. Johnson was unaware of the benefits and his family was told they were permissible by that member of the former basketball coaching staff. Johnson, his family and the University will continue to cooperate with the NCAA throughout the process