March 16, 2019 / 1:37 AM / 5 months ago

No. 12 Florida State downs No. 2 Virginia to reach tourney final

EditorsNote: Adds apostrophe to De’Andre fourth graf; corrects Guy to Jerome in 10th graf; other minor changes

Mar 15, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Trent Forrest (3) sets up a play against Virginia Cavaliers guard De'Andre Hunter (12) in the first half in the ACC conference tournament at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

David Nichols scored 14 points off the bench as No. 12 Florida State knocked off second-ranked Virginia 69-59 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals Friday night in Charlotte, N.C.

Phil Cofer added 11 points, while Trent Forrest and Mfiondu Kabengele each had 10 points for the Seminoles, who led for most of the game.

Fourth-seeded Florida State (27-6) will face third-seeded and fifth-ranked Duke, a 74-73 winner over North Carolina, for the championship. The Blue Devils beat the Seminoles in Tallahassee, 80-78 on a last-second 3-pointer, in their only meeting this season on Jan. 12.

De’Andre Hunter (13 points), Kyle Guy (11 points) and Ty Jerome (10 points) paced Virginia (29-3), which was the defending tournament champion.

Friday night’s outcome came in the same arena where Virginia’s season ended last March with an NCAA Tournament loss to Maryland-Baltimore County. This result wasn’t as costly, and the Cavaliers might still remain in line for a No. 1 regional seed for the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia’s only other two losses this season came to Duke.

Florida State pulled off the upset despite Terance Mann, who made the winning shot a day earlier in overtime against Virginia Tech, going scoreless until a dunk for the game’s final points. He’s the team’s second-leading scorer.

The Seminoles also overcame 13 turnovers, but Virginia shot 41.5 percent from the field compared to Florida State’s 56.5.

Virginia took a couple of brief leads in the second half, but the Seminoles stormed out to a 60-49 edge with less than eight minutes to play.

Jerome tried to keep the Cavaliers in it, hitting a 3-pointer to close the gap to 64-56 with 2:15 remaining.

Florida State broke out to a 20-10 lead on the way to a 35-31 halftime lead. The Seminoles shot 55.6 percent from the field in the first half.

The Cavaliers missed their first eight 3-point attempts before Guy hit a couple late in the first half.

Jerome, who shot 1 for 11 from the field a day earlier against North Carolina State, continued to struggle by going 0 for 5 in the first half.

Virginia won the only regular-season meeting, 65-52 at home in early January.

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