College Basketball: Florida State 72, Virginia 63
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ó Coming off a loss at Miami in which their commitment to defense was lacking, Florida State made sure not to repeat the mistake against Virginia.
They didn’t. Using an in-your-face defense that pushed Virginia’s shooters far outside and keeping a hand in the face of anyone trying to shoot, the Seminoles held Virginia to just three first-half field goals on Saturday in a 73-62 victory that was never much of a contest.
In the process, the Seminoles showed themselves what they can do when they try.
“We just came off a bad loss and our defensive intensity wasn’t there when we played Miami,” guard Toney Douglas said after leading the Seminoles with 21 points. “We had to make sure if we were going to lose a game, we’d lose with all-out effort, intensity and energy.”
That was more than enough to overpower a Virginia team that is reeling, having lost four in a row since opening conference play with a surprising overtime victory at Georgia Tech.
The Seminoles (16-4, 3-2 ACC) led 30-16 at the intermission, then extended their lead to as many as 21 points even when the Cavaliers started making shots.
“They systematically and methodically wore us down,” Virginia coach Dave Leitao said, adding that he told his team the deficit at the half was manageable, but all too familiar. The Cavaliers (7-9, 1-4) had trailed by 14 and 15 in their last two games against ACC teams.
“You don’t want to live like that,” he said.