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Seminoles snag a win vs. the Cavaliers

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Last season the Virginia Cavaliers and Florida State Seminoles played in a key matchup for ACC supremacy - with FSU beating Virginia 81-60 for their most dominant win of the season.

These teams are now in a much different position trying to make the most of the last few games of the season with both on the outside looking in for the NCAA tournament.

While Florida State was able to force turnovers early in the first half, they struggled to make the most of it starting the game 2-11 from the field with multiple 24 second violations.

But luckily for the Seminoles it was a slow offensive start for both teams with the score being 11-6 in Virginia’s favor with about 10 minutes left in the first half. Then, after being down by as much as 9 in the half, the `Noles found some life on offense and went on an 10-0 run.

During the rest of the half both teams settled into their half-court offense with the pace picking up but Virginia leading 34-29.

Both teams turned the ball over in the first half but the`Noles had no points off turnovers while the Cavaliers finished with 8 at the half.

The second half was another slow start for the Garnet and Gold, trailing Virginia by as many as 11 points in the first 10 minutes out of half.

But with just 8 minutes to go in the game the Seminoles started mounting a comeback and kept the Cavaliers on their heels forcing bad shots. This was led by Matthew Cleveland and Harrison Prieto who both finished the game with double digits.

The game was within 4 points with less than 2 minutes left and the Seminoles kept pushing with a 9-1 run to make it a one point game (60-59 Virginia) with less than 30 seconds left.

Then Matthew Cleveland grabbed a rebound after the Virginia player went 1-2 from FT and tied the game 61-61 with 6 seconds left. After Virginia scored to take a 2-point lead Cleveland made a last-second three off a full-court inbounds for the win.

Cleveland finished with 20-points and now has reached double digits point totals in 8 of his last 9 games. 10 of his points came in the final 2:06 of the game.

Leonard Hamilton spoke to media after the game and praised Matthew Cleveland and Harrison Prieto for the last second play.

“Obviously that was an exceptional shot Matt made at the end. That was just one of those fortunate plays that went in for us.”

“We normally practice those shots . Dribbling till we have shoot we don’t practice as much off the catch. We were very fortunate, Harry’s a six year weatherman with his meteorology major. He is very experienced and has been with us for all of our ups and downs. The pass was probably better than the shot”

Matthew Cleveland also spoke with the media and gave the full-breakdown on the last play.

“RayQuan (Evans) gave me the green light to go make a play. He said if you want it, we are down two and you can take it. Just the green light from my teammates gave me confidence to really push and get us the win.”

“We practice different situations almost every day. Different types of situations with a short shot clock. When Coach Jones drew up the play I knew we had a good chance to get the open shot. Because of our execution in practice in those situations it was an easy one for us.”