Feb. 4, 2012
White was one of two FSU players to score in double figures against the defensive-minded Cavaliers. White’s 13 points were the most of any player and he also tied Xavier Gibson for most rebounds with five.
The difference in number of turnovers (FSU – 19, Virginia – 20) was just one — a number that FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said proved to be the difference.
Florda State forced Mike Scott, one the nation’s top scorers, into seven turnovers. It’s also the number of FSU’s school-record winning streak.
Virginia hasn’t beaten FSU in Tallahassee in 11 years.
The Seminoles continued to shoot well from 3-point range this season. FSU shot 41.7 percent from that distance against UVa.
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A capacity crowd at the Donald L. Tucker got exactly what it expected Sunday afternoon from No. 16 Virginia and No. 21 Florida State.
The Atlantic Coast Conference’s two best defensive teams combined to force 39 turnovers — 19 by the Seminoles and 20 by the Cavaliers — and the game needed every bit of its 40 minutes to determine a winner.
When the final buzzer did sound, FSU emerged victorious over UVa, 58-55, thanks to its ability to withstand a second-half rally that had erased a 13-point ‘Noles (16-6, 7-1 ACC) lead. By beating Virginia (18-4, 5-3), FSU not only upset another top-20 opponent but it extended its school-record streak of conference victories to seven.
Despite scoring its fewest points in 14 games, Florida State registered some timely buckets in the final moments against a Virginia squad that entered Sunday’s game ranked No. 2 in the entire nation in points allowed.
After falling behind, 45-44, with 4:41 left to play, Michael Snaer chose that moment to make his first basket of the day when his 3-pointer hit nothing but net. Luke Loucks then added two points and Okaro White hit one of two free throws before Virginia’s Joe Harris answered with his own 3-pointer to trim the ‘Noles’ advantage to just 50-48 with 2:25 left on the clock.
Snaer then answered again by connecting from beyond NBA 3-point range and the Seminoles never led by less than three in the game’s final two minutes.
“We just needed to settle down,” White said afterwards. “We kind of let them do what they wanted to do on the offensive end towards the end of the game. We just got a timeout and got in the huddle and settled down and played our offense.”
White led the way with 13 points and five rebounds while Snaer added eight points, three rebounds, two steals and an overall dominating defensive performance. Xavier Gibson scored 10 points and and grabbed five rebounds to go along with two blocks.
FSU has drastically improved its shooting percentage in the second half of games during the winning streak but against the Cavs maintained a shooting clip of at least 45 percent in both halves and finished with an overall shooting percentage of 47.8. The ‘Noles were also 41.7 percent from 3-point distance.
Harris and Cavaliers star Mike Harris both scored 16 points. Harris managed a double-double with 11 points but he also was forced into committing a game-high seven turnovers.
For the game, Virginia shot 47 percent from the field and 33 percent from long range. FSU secured 24 rebounds combated to UVa’s 23 boards and both teams had 10 steals each.
“We are very fortunate; very proud of our players,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I thought they fought very hard. We didn’t play nearly as well as maybe we would have liked. But I think that’s one of the positive things about this team.”
With the loss, the Cavaliers misfortunes in Tallahassee continue. Virginia has not left Florida’s capitol with a win since Feb. 17, 2001.
FSU now aims for its eighth win in a row by heading north for a game at Boston College on Feb. 8. The 7 p.m. contest will air online at ESPN3.com.