1. Virginia shot well from the arc (42%), but Florida State limited them to just 17-44 (39%) on 2s. Nine straight opponents had shot at least 45% on 2s vs FSU, and three of four ACC teams made 50% or better. The Cavaliers entered the game having made 55% of their 2s in conference play, and had only been held below 48% twice this season. The Florida State defense needs a lot more games like this one. 2-pt% defense is the hallmark of great Leonard Hamilton defenses, and FSU currently ranks 174th nationally, which is the worst FSU team since 2006-07.
2. Virginia committed just 9 turnovers (14% of their possessions), compared to 15 for FSU (23%). They also had one more offensive rebound. The turnover and offensive rebound advantage gave the Hoos seven effective possessions more than Florida State. If I told you that Virginia would shoot 42% from deep and have seven more possessions than FSU, how many would have predicted a victory?
3. In the post-game press conference, Coach Bennett singled out Devon Bookert as the guy who is the steadying influence on all the young talent at Florida State. "He hits tough shots. He steadies them, he really does." Coach Hamilton also singled him out before the game saying that he has stepped up and provided the vocal leadership the team needs. In ACC play he's made 14-23 3s (61%), which leads the conference, and is 5th in steals, generating one on 3.3% of opponent possessions.
4. Jarquez Smith played a season high 25 minutes, and he had eight points, five rebounds, and a block. With only three healthy bigs on the roster - and one a freshman who isn't really ready for ACC play - it's key that Jarquez and Boris Bojanovsky each play solidly down the stretch. Against Virginia, Florida State was continually slipping high ball screens to take advantage of how hard the Virginia bigs hedge. Twice in the first half this led to Smith rolling to the basket uncovered. Both times he scored and was fouled. Smith is still adjusting to his new role playing the 5, but if the light comes on then that will provide a nice boost for the rest of the season.
5. Florida State won 69-62 in a 66 possession game. The 66 possessions matched the highest total in a Virginia-Florida State game since Tony Bennett was hired. The 1.05 points per possession scored by Florida State marked the first time since 2011-12 that FSU has scored more than a point per possession vs Virginia. Defensively, FSU held the potent Virginia offense below a point per possession for the first time this year.