The Florida State Seminoles were in Blacksburg, Virginia for their final game of the regular season. FSU’s match against the Virginia Tech Hokies started off with an extremely high deficit and the Hokies never looked back. Florida State was outmatched through 40 minutes, getting demolished with an 82-60 loss.
Player of the game: Caleb Mills was FSU’s most consistent scorer, helping the Noles spread the floor and threaten the Hokies' lead on a few occasions. Mills finished the game with 14 points on 6-10 from the field.
A sloppy start on both ends of the floor for the Hokies and Seminoles had VT up 2-0 with more than two minutes of game time. The Noles were 0-6 from the field to begin the match, with their leading scorer, Matthew Cleveland, shooting 0-3. With 15:23 left in the first half, head coach Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles decided to head back to the drawing board after an 11-0 start.
For a team like Florida State, which has a very passive offense, it’s always going to take them ample time to find a rhythm. VT is on the other side of this story since they have shooting threats outside of the perimeter. Caleb Mills was the first to find the bottom of the basket with 14:08 remaining, keeping FSU down big with a 14-3 deficit.
Baba Miller and Chandler Jackson were plugged into the lineup after the Noles had only scored two baskets in nearly eight minutes. Tom House and Naheem McLeod joined them soon after, with Florida State down 17-6. After starting the game 0-5, Cleveland scored his first bucket halfway through the first half.
DeAnte Green was the next man off the bench for the Seminoles, replacing McLeod after a short stint on the court. Back-to-back threes from Virginia Tech and a fastbreak off a Noles turnover helped VT gain a 29-12 lead. They headed back to the sideline with a media timeout in FSU’s favor.
Virginia Tech had an extreme hot streak, shooting 7-7, courtesy of Sean Pedulla. The Seminoles might’ve skipped over the film of Pedulla during their practice sessions because the sophomore out of Oklahoma was getting any shot he desired. VT carried a 37-26 lead with less than two minutes left in the first.
A buzzer-beating floater from Jalen Warley helped FSU get within single digits for the first time in over 10 minutes. Heading into the locker room, the Seminoles were down 39-30. Pedulla and Grant Basile combined for 24 points, and the only player with 10 or more points for Florida State was Darin Green Jr.
The Seminoles were shooting 39% from the field, while Virginia Tech had a tremendous 63% edge. VT also had an edge in nearly, including rebounds, blocks, assists, and three-point percentage.
Seven straight points from Mills to start the half helped FSU cut the deficit, down 41-37. Pedulla continued to have the hot hand off the break, pushing his total to 17 points after shooting 5-5 from three-point range. Jackson came in for the Noles early which greatly helped FSU in the playmaking realm.
Virginia Tech picked up right where they left off in the first half though. The Hokies were constantly finding the open man beyond the arc, taking advantage of most of their opportunities. Without looking at the full statistics countrywide, the Seminoles must be one of the worst teams in the nation at defending the three which is shown game after game.
While Florida State rode a three-minute scoring drought, the Hokies were on a 14-0 run. Virginia Tech kept pulling the game away from the Seminoles, gaining a 62-43 lead with 10 minutes remaining. The Hokies gained their biggest lead of the game at 23, pulling the final straw for a potential Seminoles comeback.
Senior Hunter Cattoor couldn't buy a basket in the first half, but the urge to leave with a bang changed the course for Cattoor. With 4:55 left in the game, Cattoor had 14 points after shooting 0-3 from the field in the first half.
The Hokies had a 79-52 lead with just under three minutes remaining. It seemed like everything that could have gone wrong for the Noles was displayed in their final regular season contest. A couple of scores from Virginia Tech and drained time on the shot clock concluded the game.
Next game: The Seminoles will await their stance in the ACC tournament after playing their final game of the regular season. According to DraftKings, Florida State currently stands as the No. 14 team in the ACC, with the second-lowest chance to win the conference tournament.