The Daily Nole

5-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Rallies From 16 Down to Top Ranked Miami

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As is the case this weekend, football was on the mind of sports fans on this day five years ago. Prior to the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks kicking things off in Super Bowl XLIX, Florida State’s men’s basketball team made sure it was a “Super” Sunday in Tallahassee.

Just 11-10 on the season and fighting to avoid its first losing season in a decade, FSU was looking for bragging rights as it played host to No. 23 Miami on Feb. 1, 2015. The Hurricanes raced to a big early lead, but the Seminoles rallied for a thrilling 55-54 victory.

A 3-pointer from Robbie Berwick gave the Seminoles an early 13-11 lead, but Miami answered with a 19-1 run to seemingly take control of the game. Down 16 points late in the first half, FSU was not out. Florida State slowly chipped away and used a 3-pointer by Xavier Rathan-Mayes late in the first half to close to within 11 at the break, 36-25.

By the first TV timeout in the second half, the Miami lead had been shrunk to four. From there, Miami never led by more than nine points.

The Hurricanes managed just 18 points in the second half, but FSU was unable to take the lead until there were fewer than five minutes remaining in the contest. After a 3-point play from FSU forward Jarquez Smith tied the game, the Seminoles went ahead on a jumper by Rathan-Mayes.

Over the final four and a half minutes, the teams would combine for just four points. With less than four minutes remaining, Sheldon McClellan knocked down a jumper to put the Hurricanes back in front, 54-53. It was more than two minutes later before FSU center Kiel Turpin hit the hook that put the Seminoles ahead for good. Turpin’s shot served as the game-winner and followed a missed free throw from Miami guard Angel Rodriguez on a 1-and-1.

Davon Reed and McClellan each had shots down the stretch to put Miami in front, but were unable to convert. Miami was held scoreless over the final 3:45. McClellan’s runner in the final seconds went awry as time expired.

Montay Brandon shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and led the Seminoles with a game-high 18 points in the win. Turpin added 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting. As a team, the Seminoles shot 53 percent from the floor, but turned the ball over 16 times.

McClellan and Reed finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively, to lead the Hurricanes. Miami shot 43 percent, but just 6-for-11 from the free throw line.

The come-from-behind victory served as FSU’s only win over a ranked opponent that season. It was also the program’s first win over a top-25 ACC team in nearly three years. It happened on this day five years ago.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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