January 20, 2018 / 7:44 PM / a year ago

Freshman Walker scores 24 as Florida State stops Virginia Tech

Freshman guard M.J. Walker scored a season-best 24 points as Florida State recorded a 91-82 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday in ACC play at Blacksburg, Va.

Senior guard Braian Angola added 14 points and junior guard Terance Mann had 12 for the Seminoles (14-5, 3-4). Sophomore guard CJ Walker scored 11 and junior center Christ Koumadje had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting for Florida State, which held a 37-25 rebounding edge.

Junior guard Justin Robinson scored a career-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting and senior guard Justin Bibbs added 19 for the Hokies (13-6, 2-4). Junior forward Chris Clarke had 13 points and sophomore forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 10.

Virginia Tech had trimmed a 14-point second-half deficit in half but its momentum was short-circuited when M.J. Walker made a big steal and drove for a layup with 57.8 seconds left to give the Seminoles a nine-point advantage. The Hokies were unable to move closer than five the rest of the way.

Virginia Tech scored the first basket of the second half to pull within one before the Seminoles used an 11-3 burst to open up a 52-43 lead on a dunk by senior forward Phil Cofer. A short time later, M.J. Walker buried a 3-pointer and followed with a layup to push Florida State’s advantage to 59-47 with 12:41 to play.

The Seminoles led by 14 with under six minutes remaining when Bibbs got hot and scored Virginia Tech’s next seven points as the Hokies moved within single digits at 73-64 with 4:01 left. After M.J. Walker answered with a 3-pointer to move Florida State’s margin to 12, Robinson drained a 3-pointer and Clarke converted a three-point play to bring the Hokies within 76-70 with 1:52 to go.

The Seminoles shot 56.7 percent from the field in the first half while taking a 41-38 lead at the break. The Hokies shot 57.7 percent.

Virginia Tech led 10-4 after Hill’s 3-pointer with 15:17 left in the first half before Florida State made a 21-8 charge over the next 4:23 to open up a seven-point edge. The Hokies battled back within 27-25 on a layup by Blackshear with 6:24 remaining.

M.J. Walker capped a 7-1 run to push the Seminoles’ lead to 34-26 with 4:35 remaining before the Hokies finished the half strong.

—Field Level Media

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