February 20, 2002 - by
Cummings Leads Florida State Over No. 22 Virginia, 66-59

Feb 20, 2002



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By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s Monte Cummings got kicked. Virginia felt the pain.


Cummings, a 25-year-old former Army sergeant and the Seminoles’ top scorer, hobbled off the court midway through the second half Wednesday night with a deep thigh bruise in his right leg and his team trailing 45-42.


“You can’t hide pain,” said Cummings, who with the help of some ice and tape shook off the pain to make five free throws over the final 2:13 as Florida State snapped a six-game losing streak with a 66-59 victory over No. 22 Virginia.


“It wasn’t a question of whether you wanted to finish,” Cummings said. “When the trainer said `Let me tape you up,’ I said `Let me back out there.”‘


Cummings scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half to help the Seminoles to a 34-29 lead.


The Cavaliers (16-8, 6-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost for the sixth time in eight games.


“We’ve got to go day-by-day and try to win the next game,” Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. “I think we’re capable.”


Virginia, which was ranked as high as fourth in December and has fallen in the Top 25 each of the last five weeks, took its last lead at 56-55 with 3:30 left on a three-point play by Adam Hall.


A free throw by Nigel Dixon and then a spectacular breakaway dunk by Antwuan Dixon put the Seminoles ahead for good, 58-56 with 2:41 left.


Roger Mason led Virginia with 19 points, but was only 5-of-18 from the field. Chris Williams and Elton Brown each had 10 points for the Cavaliers, who shot 40 percent.


“They played zone and we still haven’t solved it,” Gillen said. “Everybody is zoning us. We’ve got to do a better job.”


Nigel “Big Jelly” Dixon, a 350-pound junior center, had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles (11-13, 4-9) and helped contain Virginia’s Travis Watson, who was held to five points and three rebounds.


“When you hold him down to single digits like that, you give yourself a great chance to win a game,” Florida State coach Steve Robinson said. “Nigel did a nice job staying down and not leaving his feet.”


Cummings was 7-of-11 from the field and Nigel Dixon was 5-of-8 as Florida State shot 51.1 percent.


It was the second time this season the Seminoles have defeated a ranked team at home. They handed then-No. 1 Duke its first loss of the season, 77-76 on Jan. 6.

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