TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – M.J. Walker scored 17 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead No. 16 Florida State to an 81-60 victory over No. 7 Virginia at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The win marked the 24th consecutive home ACC win for the Seminoles – the second longest streak in ACC history. The victory was the Seminoles’ third of the season over a nationally ranked team and head coach Leonard Hamilton’s 76th career win over a nationally ranked team.
Florida State upped its record to 12-3 (8-2 ACC) and has won seven of its last eight games. Virginia is now 15-4 (11-2 ACC).
Walker shot five of six (.833) from beyond the arc and six of 12 (.500) from the field. With eight Seminoles making at least one 3-popint shot, Florida State made a season high of 13 from long range in its victory over the Cavaliers.
Florida State held Virginia to 22 field goals and .390 (9 of 23) from the three-point line.
Redshirt junior RaiQuan Gray scored 15 points, marking his seventh consecutive double-figure scoring game. Gray pulled down five rebounds, contributed three assists, and grabbed two steals. The redshirt junior has 82 steals in 80 career games. With two of two free throws against Virginia, Gray has shot a perfect 12 consecutive free throws in the past two games.
Florida State held a 45-25 scoring advantage and outrebounded the Cavaliers 17 to 10 in the first half. Walker and Gray led the Seminoles at the intermission with nine points and while senior Tanor Ngom led the team with four rebounds.
In the first half alone, Florida State earned five steals and forced eight turnovers while committing just three turnovers themselves.
The Seminoles led for 36:02 of the game and had their largest lead of 25 points (43-68) after an easy three point jumper from sophomore Balsa Koprivica. With five Seminoles pulling down three or more rebounds, Florida State outrebounded Virginia by a 31-25 margin for the game.
Koprivica scored nine points, shooting a perfect three of three from the field and one triple (the first of his career). Koprivica made both of his free throw attempts (two of two) and has now made 12 of his last 13 free throw attempts in his last five games.
Redshirt junior Anthony Polite picked up where he left off in Saturday’s win over Wake Forest with eight points and two steals. With one triple against the Cavaliers, Polite has made at least one three point shot in 12 consecutive games. He is shooting 21 of 40 (.525) during that span of games.
In contributing seven points, freshman Scottie Barnes had a game-high of six assists and had two steals for the Seminoles. He leads Florida State with a 4.2 assists per game average.
In just his second start of the season, redshirt junior Malik Osborne scored seven points and pulled down two rebounds.
Junior Sardaar Calhoun added six points for Florida State and has made at least one three-point field goal in 10 of the first 17 games of his career.
Virginia’s Trey Murphy III led the Cavaliers with 13 points and five rebounds. Senior Sam Hauser tied for the team-high of five rebounds while contributing 11 points and one steal. Kihei Clark led Virginia with four assists.
No. 16 Florida State will look to continue their ACC home game winning streak when No. 18 Virginia Tech comes to Tallahassee this Saturday, February 20. The game will tip off at 12 noon and will be aired on the ACC Network.