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Seminoles Survive Against Virginia, Win 63-56

Just over the mid-way point of the 1st half Chris Singleton was injured when Xavier Gibson landed on his foot during a rebound. At the time the Noles were trailing Virginia 19-15, and Singleton had scored the Noles first 11 points. But his teammates responded by going on a 19-8 run to closeout the half. Singleton returned at the beginning of the 2nd half, but in street clothes with a walking boot on his right foot, though he didn’t need crutches.

The Seminoles extended their lead in the 2nd half and led by double figures most of the way until Sammy Zeglinski cut it to 7 with a 3-pointer with just under four minutes. The Hoos got as close as four, but the Noles were able to hit FTs down the stretch to put them away 63-56, in a 64 possession game. Michael Snaer led the way with 16 points and 8 rebounds, Chris Singleton had 11, and Bernard James chipped in 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

Once again turnovers were the problem, with 8 in the first five minutes. After they settled in they only committed one more in the half, but then again got careless in the 2nd half and finished the game with 16. The defense also was exposed down the stretch. Without Singleton the Seminoles had to turn to a 3 guard set, and that was only when Okaro White was in the game. Only one of the trio of James, Gibson and Jon Kreft could play at a time, as Gibson or Kreft couldn’t guard anyone, and they couldn’t get outside quickly enough to hedge on screens, which left wide open threes. So when White fouled out with 3:43 left to play, the Noles had to finish with a 4 guard lineup.

Had James fouled out we’d have been in serious trouble, and that’s a huge cause for concern until we get further word on Singleton. Singleton being out shouldn’t affect us too much on offense, but it severely hampers us on defense. The timing of his injury is ominous for Noles fans, as it was almost four years to the day that Toney Douglas went down and took our tournament hopes with him. Hopefully Singleton’s fine, and in our favor we don’t play again until next Saturday against Wake Forest.

The Seminoles are now 8-3 in the ACC for the first time in Hamilton’s tenure.

EDIT: Chris Singleton has a fracture in his foot and will be operated on immediately. It seems it may have happened prior to Gibson landing on it, but no confirmation.