March 14, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Seminoles.com) — The Florida State men’s team fell to top-seeded Virginia, 64-51, Friday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals round.
The Seminoles (19-13) likely needed a win over the No. 6 Cavaliers (26-6) to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament and will now await official word on their post-season fate Sunday night. The NIT could be next for the ‘Noles.
Friday’s outcome at the Greensboro Coliseum was reminiscent of two prior setbacks to the Cavs earlier in the year.
One of the top defensive teams in all of college basketball, Virginia forced an average of 17 FSU turnovers in those ballgames. At the ACC Tournament, Florida State committed 15 giveaways, making it to difficult to chip away at a second-half deficit.
“Down the stretch we ran out of gas,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “They kept executing and executing. That’s why I think they’re probably one of the top teams that I’ve seen in a long, long time. Playing within themselves, playing to their strengths, staying away from their weaknesses, making you pay every time you make a defensive mistake. That’s to their credit.
“They’re an outstanding basketball team.
Playing in his final ACC Tournament contest, senior Okaro White had a strong outing for the `Noles. The Dothan, Ala. native finished with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and added six rebounds.
Aaron Thomas, who took a large leap in his sophomore season and is expected to be the face of the `Noles in 2014-15, added 13 points. Thomas was particularly good on thedefensive end despite the loss, contributing four steals. Senior Ian Miller posted 10 points and Devon Bookertfinished with five.
Boris Bojanovsky, who dunked the game-winning basket Thursday against Maryland to set up the quarterfinals showdown, was troubled by fouls all day and held scoreless.
It’s very hard to come back on a team like Virginia when they’re coming down and using 30 seconds of a shot clock,” White said. “You can’t get down on them.”
For Virginia, Joe Harris and Anthony Gill, scored 20 and 14 points, respectively.
The Cavaliers shot 48 percent from the field while FSU shot at a 43-percent clip. The Cavs out-rebounded the ‘Noles, 31-25.
FSU jumped out to an early first-half lead before Virginia grabbed its first advantage of the day at 10-9. The Cavaliers then built a 32-27 score at halftime following nine first-half `Noles turnovers. In the previous two meetings with Virginia, FSU had trailed by 13 and 19 points at the break.
“I do believe that we’re more than capable of doing well in the NCAA Tournament,” Hamilton said. “But at this particular point, it doesn’t do you any good to play the what if game. Because there’s a lot of criteria that the committee will use as they try to make their decision. We hope that we have fulfilled most of them. A win today probably would have helped us a lot better than a loss. So at this particular point there’s not anything else we can do other than go back and try to regroup from this game and learn from it and move on and try to get a little rest, prepare ourselves for whatever tournament we are going to play in.”