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Snaer's game-winner stuns Virginia

Senior guard's and-one with 4.4 seconds remaining gives Seminoles 53-51 victory

Florida State senior guard Michael Snaer converted an and-one layup with 4.4 seconds remaining to spoil a furious Cavalier comeback and put a wrench in the Virginia basketball team’s postseason aspirations.

From the right wing, Snaer faked to his right and dribbled into the lane, elevating over Harris and finishing with his left hand and earning a trip the line to give the Seminoles (16-14, 8-9 ACC) a 53-51 victory Thursday and hand Virginia (20-10, 10-7 ACC) its second straight devastating road loss.

With just under six minutes remaining and the deficit at 11, Virginia strung together seven straight points in the next 1:32, finding the passion and execution that had eluded them for much of the night. Sophomore guard Paul Jesperson’s 3-pointer with 4:27 remaining brought Virginia within four, 47-43.

Harris, who went just 5-of-15 from the field, missed a potential tying 3-pointer with just more than two minutes remaining but junior forward Akil Mitchell followed the shot with a tip-in to cut the deficit to one. Harris then gave the Cavaliers their first lead since the score was 15-14 by making a pair of free throws with 1:28 left, but Snaer’s 3-point play would be the difference as the Cavaliers could not get a shot off on their final possession.

Snaer, who has shown a penchant for late-game heroics having made six game-winners in the final 2.6 seconds of games in the past two seasons, became the second opponent in as many games to saddle Virginia with a heartbreaking road loss. Boston College freshman guard Joe Rahon’s four-point play with 8.2 seconds left March 3 had given the Cavaliers their first defeat on what may become a season defining two-game road swing. The loss Thursday dropped Virginia to 3-8 on the road this season.

Mitchell scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed 12 boards and freshman forward Mike Tobey added 12 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

Virginia will conclude the regular season against Maryland Sunday at John Paul Jones, where the team has won an arena record 16 straight games.


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