Hamilton: UVA defense "gave our kids some challenges" in loss

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
January 29, 2020

Florida State forward Raiquan Gray (10 shoots over Virginia forward Jay Huff (30) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Charlottesville, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.(AP Photo/Lee Luther Jr.)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WCTV) -- Tuesday night, the Florida State men's basketball team saw their 10-game winning streak halted at the hands of the defending national champions, the Virginia Cavaliers.

The Seminoles had yet another solid night from Devin Vassell, who led all FSU scorers with 17 points. Vassell has scored in double figures in every ACC game and in 17 of 20 games overall.

Outside of Vassell, however, FSU struggled to find production elsewhere on the floor.

FSU shot seven points worse than their season average (38.9% vs. UVA, 45.7% on the season), grabbed 10 fewer boards than their year-long clip (23 vs. UVA, averaging 33 rebounds per game) and were held way below their overall scoring average on the year (75.0 ppg), netting only 56 points.

Plainly put, it was just an off night for FSU, something head coach Leonard Hamilton attributes to Virginia's game plan coming in.

"We had several layups and wide open jump shots that didn't fall, they had some layups that went down," Hamilton said after the game. "That allows us a loss to a team that, I thought, deserved to win; their defense was excellent. We struggled to get good looks for a long period of time. Our inside game is not as effective as it has been in the past and I think they exploited that. They played us a lot more aggressive on the perimeter than they have in the past and I thought that really gave our kids some challenges."

While it may have been an off night for the Seminoles. it's far from a panic-mode loss.

The Noles have three winnable games coming up, a trip to Virginia Tech this Saturday and back-to-back home games against UNC (2/3) and Miami (2/8) before taking back to the road for a matchup against Duke on February 10.

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