TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Michael Snaer added yet another chapter to his already considerable resume Thursday night.
Snaer, who has earned a reputation as one of the country's top clutch players after hitting five buzzer-beating game-winners, lifted Florida State to a 53-51 victory over Virginia on Thursday with a left-handed floater that erased Virginia's one-point lead with 4.4 seconds remaining.
The senior guard was fouled on the play. He made the ensuing free throw, and then for good measure knocked the ball loose as time expired on Virginia's final possession.
Snaer's heroics came after the Cavaliers mounted a furious rally over the game's final six-plus minutes. Trailing 47-36 with 6:32 to play, Virginia went on a 15-3 run to claim its first lead since midway through the first half.
That run was sparked in large part by Akil Mitchell, who finished with a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds), and by Joe Harris, who added 13 points.
Mitchell helped Virginia by grabbing six offensive boards, but he missed a contested layup with 20 seconds to go that would've stretched the Cavaliers' lead to 53-50.
With their win, the Seminoles (16-14, 8-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) are guaranteed to finish no worse than .500, a requirement for the National Invitation Tournament. The Seminoles host North Carolina State on Saturday in their regular-season finale.
Virginia (20-10, 10-7) lost its second consecutive game since toppling No. 3 Duke last week.
Okaro White scored 17 points and added six rebounds for Florida State, which won for just the third time in its past eight games.
Snaer finished with 14 points, and guard Devon Bookert contributed nine points and three assists without committing a turnover. The freshman also secured the rebound on Mitchell's last miss.
White scored 13 points in the first 20 minutes to help Florida State to a 26-23 halftime lead. His outburst was part of a 10-3 Florida State run that erased Virginia's 12-9 lead midway through the half.
Each team struggled to find its offensive footing in the first 20 minutes. Virginia jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but by the 10-minute mark, both teams combined for just 21 points
From there, White scored 11 of the Seminoles' remaining 15 points for the rest of the half.
NOTES: Both teams came into Thursday struggling. The Cavaliers had lost three of their last five -- including a 53-42 setback at Boston College -- and the Seminoles' only wins in the past month have come against lowly Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest. ... Florida State entered the game as the Atlantic Coast Conference's leader in blocked shots with 147 (5.1 per game). The Seminoles had six blocks Thursday. ... Virginia is currently on a 17-game losing streak in games played in the state of Florida. That stretch includes a 10-game skid at Florida State.