FSU takes it to Virginia on Big Monday

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 9:18 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Sports) - Florida State made their case against Virginia from beginning to end on Monday evening at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles defeated the Cavaliers 81-60, leading for more than 36 minutes of the game and by as many as 25 points.

FSU (12-3, 8-2 ACC) led by as many as 23 points in the first half, and by 20 at the half, but the Cavaliers (15-4, 11-2 ACC) closed the gap to seven points early in the second half. FSU would then use a 19-3 run to open things back up to as many as 25 points. It marked the first time in the last 20 meetings that FSU scored 70 or more points against Virginia.

Leonard Hamilton’s team was led by veteran guard M.J. Walker, who scored 17 points and grabbed a team-leading six rebounds. RaiQuan Gray reached double digits for the seventh consecutive game, scoring 15 points on the evening. They were the lone Seminoles in double figures.

Scottie Barnes had seven points, but dished out a team-leading six assists. Six Seminoles scored seven or more points. FSU’s bench scored 37 points on the evening.

FSU shot it well on the evening, finishing 29-for-58 (50.0%) from the floor, including 13-for-24 (54.2%) from deep. They also hit 10-of-13 (76.9%) of their free throws. FSU had 17 assists on 29 made baskets, while committing just five turnovers. The Seminoles had a 31-25 advantage on the boards. FSU also recorded nine steals and two blocks.

Virginia, who was led by 13 points from Trey Murphy III, were 22-for-47 (46.8%) from the floor and 9-for-23 (39.1%) from deep. They went 7-for-12 (58.3%) at the line, with all of those attempts coming in the second half. They had 14 assists compared to 13 turnovers.

FSU scored 21 points off of the 13 giveaways by the Cavaliers.

The Seminoles have now won 24 consecutive ACC home games, the second-longest streak in league history. Duke holds the record with a streak of 26 consecutive conference home victories (1/18/97 to 2/5/00).

Monday evening also marked FSU’s third victory of the season over a team ranked at the time they played. It was Leonard Hamilton’s 76th career victory over a ranked team, with 57 of those victories coming in his time with the Seminoles.

FSU now leads the all-time series with Virginia, 27-26, including a 16-12 mark under Hamilton. Hamilton is 10-9 against Virginia’s Tony Bennett.

FSU center Balsa Koprivica, who missed Saturday’s game against Wake Forest due to an ankle injury, returned to the lineup on Monday evening. He did not start, as he had in every game before the injury.

He finished the evening with nine points, three rebounds and a block in 14 minutes.

FSU is set to host Virginia Tech on Saturday at noon. That game is scheduled to be shown on the ACC Network. The Hokies, who were set to play a midweek game at North Carolina on Tuesday, are currently paused due to COVID-related issues.

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