March 8, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Toney Douglas scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, leading No. 24 Florida State to a 63-53 win over Virginia Tech on Sunday and giving the Seminoles their first opening-round bye in the ACC tournament.
The fourth seeded Seminoles will play the winner of Thursday’s game between Clemson and Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on Friday at 2;30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (see attached PDF for complete tournament schedule).
Douglas, the top scorer in conference play at more than 23 points per game, scored a dozen points in just over four minutes after the Hokies pulled within 45-42. That gave the Seminoles a 59-49 lead, and they cruised from there.
Florida State (23-8, 10-6) led 32-25 after a ragged first half in which the two teams combined for 23 turnovers and the Hokies shot just 24 percent.
A.D. Vassallo scored 14 points to lead Virginia Tech (17-13, 7-9).
Playing his final game before home fans on Senior Day, Douglas didn’t get his first field goal until 10:30 was gone in the first half, finally hitting a runner just outside the lane.
Douglas has scored 20 or more points in 13 of Florida State’s last 15 Atlantic Coast Conference games, getting 19 in the other two.
The Seminoles’ 23 wins are their most since the 1992-93 team that finished 25-10 before being eliminated in the NCAA’s round of eight by Kentucky. No ACC team with 10 league wins has ever failed to make the NCAA tournament.
Florida State’s starters went scoreless the first 7:31 before Douglas sank a pair of free throws for a 10-5 lead.
Vassallo, Virginia Tech’s leading scorer, didn’t get his first field goal until 2:09 was gone in the second half. He only managed a pair of free throws before the break.
Malcolm Delaney finished with 13 for the Hokies, who shot just 30.8 percent.
Florida State was up by as many as 14 points on two occasions in the first half, but several unforced errors kept the Seminoles from building a larger lead. The Seminoles swept the season series, defeating the Hokies 67-65 in Blacksburg, Va., on Feb. 21.