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FSU basketball falls to No. 2 Virginia

UVA goes to 12-0 in ACC play

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

In the first half, everything went right for Florida State. They made five early 3s, and UVA’s top scorers were cold. In the second half, that was reversed. It was Virginia’s turn to knock down five 3s, while FSU made just one of nine. Against UVA’s trademark defense, which may be the best defense in close to two decades, if you’re not knocking down 3s then you’re not winning. FSU had a couple shots late to tie, but missed, and the Cavaliers got out of Tallahassee with a 59-54 win.

In the opening minutes, UVA took a 4-3 lead, but that would be the last time they led in the half. FSU made too many 3s, and were able to turn Virginia’s misses into transition opportunities, and ultimately led 32-22 at the break. The Seminoles game plan was to attack as early in the shot clock as possible, even if it meant the occasional forced shot.

In the 2nd half, with FSU up six, Virginia knocked down their next four 3s. At that point, they trailed by just one, and the fight was on.

Unfortunately, Florida State picked a bad time to go cold. With FSU missing eight 3s, and UVA’s offense functioning at a high enough level that the Seminoles weren’t able to get anything in transition, it was just a matter of time. FSU couldn’t attack early, and Virginia’s defense took over.

FSU was able to cut Virginia’s lead to just three with a bit over a minute left, but Braian Angola’s three to tie was off the mark.

In the final seconds, FSU fouled to extend the game, but De’Andre Hunter knocked down both ends of a 1-and-1 to end any rally.

UVA won 59-54.

MJ Walker was the only ‘Nole in double figures, scoring 10. Phil Cofer scored nine, while CJ Walker and Braian Angola each finished with seven points and four assists.

The Seminoles are now 17-7 (6-6), and play at Notre Dame on Saturday.