Florida State was toast, nearly out of time, clearly off its game and seemingly on its way to the type of head-scratching loss that has become a Seminoles trademark in recent years.
Virginia Tech led by nine with 73 seconds to go. Florida State had only scored 12 the entire second half. About the only way a comeback was fathomable was if the Seminoles abruptly emerged from a game-long offensive funk and the Hokies missed every shot they took ... and even then it still seemed improbable.
The improbable soon became reality mere minutes later when Florida State guard Michael Snaer completed a stunning finishing charge by sinking a right-wing 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to give the Seminoles a 48-47 victory. Florida State finished the game on an 11-1 run, sinking a trio of threes and a layup in the final 73 seconds and benefiting from five missed free throws in six attempts from Virginia Tech.
The unlikely comeback kept Florida State (18-7, 9-2) tied for first in the ACC with North Carolina (22-4, 9-2) and Duke (22-4, 9-2) with five conference games left this season.
What was eerie about Snaer's shot was it came from almost the identical spot as the one he sank to beat Duke last month at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Guard Jeff Peterson beat his man off the dribble, forced the defense to collapse around him in the paint and then dished to a wide-open Snaer on the right wing for the game-winner.
Virginia Tech's Errick Green was nearly fouled on his desperation 30-footer as time expired, but the injury-plagued Hokies had no right to complain. They scored only seven points in the final 14:10 of the game against Florida State, squandering a 15-point lead to fall to 3-8 in the ACC.
That Florida State needed an escape at home against Virginia Tech shows the Seminoles are still the same team that also lost to Princeton, Clemson and Boston College earlier this season.
Their formidable defense can keep them in games against elite teams. Their often misfiring offense can keep weak teams in games against them.
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