No. 2 Virginia rallied from a double-digit halftime deficit Wednesday to win its 15th consecutive game, defeating Florida State 59-55 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Cavaliers (23-1, 12-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) strengthened their hold on the top spot in the league standings with the win. They were led by Devon Hall, who scored 17 points, while fellow guard Ty Jerome contributed 15 points and a team-high five rebounds.
Kyle Guy scored 13 points for Virginia.
The Cavaliers stormed back from a 10-point halftime hole and took just their second lead since the opening minutes of the game 44-43 with 9:57 remaining in the second half.
The Seminoles scored the next four points to regain the lead 47-44, then went scoreless from the floor over the next eight minutes as Virginia seized control and never looked back.
Florida State (17-7, 6-6) had just one player reach double figures in the loss: guard M.J. Walker with 10 points. It was the first game this season the Seminoles didn’t have at least two players reach double digits. Forward Phil Cofer added nine points, while fellow forward Mfiondu Kabengele pulled down a team-high six rebounds and notched six points.
The Seminoles, who have lived and died from long range this year and entered the game as the second-highest scoring team in the ACC (84.7 points per game), shot just 6 of 20 from long range Wednesday. Virginia’s stifling defense forced 11 Seminoles turnovers, while the Cavs only turned the ball over six times.
The win denied Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton his 500th career victory and 300th at Florida State. He sits at 499 wins for his career and 299 during his tenure with the Seminoles.
The all-time series is now tied 24-24 as Virginia snapped a two-game losing streak to the Seminoles.
Florida State took a 32-22 lead to halftime -- a spot the Cavaliers aren’t used to being in. Coming into Wednesday’s game, Virginia hadn’t trailed at halftime all season, and the 32 points allowed to the Seminoles at intermission tied the most the Cavs had allowed to any team at the half all season.
Virginia can blame their poor shooting for managing just 22 points in the early going as they went just 9 of 26 from the field before heating up in the second half.
--Field Level Media