GAME NOTES: The Florida State Seminoles look to extend a five-game win streak as they host the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday in the ACC opener.
Virginia had won two in a row until it met Tennessee Monday, losing to the Vols 87-52 on the road. The Cavaliers had won seven of their first eight games to start the season, but have only won two of their last five contests since Dec. 4.
Florida State is on a five-game win streak with a recent defeat of Charleston Southern, 67-59, on Monday. The game against Virginia represents the fifth and final game of a five-game homestand for the Seminoles.
Florida State holds the edge in the all-time series between these two ACC schools, 22-18. Virginia and Florida State split the two-game season series a year ago.
Despite losing three of their last five games, the Cavaliers had strung together two straight wins prior to their meeting with Tennessee. The Vols never trailed in the rout of Virginia. Justin Anderson led the way for Virginia, scoring 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 0-of-3 from beyond the 3-point line. Mike Tobey was the only other Cavalier to record double digits, netting 10 points and bringing in seven rebounds in the contest. Virginia shot a dismal 32.7 percent from the floor in the game.
Anderson is third on the Virginia team in scoring, averaging 9.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg. The only Cavalier to average in double figures this season is Joe Harris with an 11.1 ppg clip on 48.5 percent shooting from the field. Akil Mitchell is the team's leading rebounder at 5.5 rpg, and Tobey leads the team in blocks this season with 16.
Florida State led by double digits in the second half against Charleston Southern, but saw its lead reduced to five with 1:20 left to play. But a timely CSU turnover and clutch free throws at the end of the game was enough for the Seminoles to hold on, 67-59. Aaron Thomas led Florida State in the game with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor. Ian Miller added 15 points - the only other FSU player to record double digits - and three steals, but turned the ball over five times in the contest. The Seminoles shot exactly 50 percent from the field in the second half.
Miller leads the team in scoring with 14 ppg and is tops with 42 assists this season. Miller shoots 44.3 percent this season, and 87.3 percent from the free-throw line. Thomas is second on the roster with 12.9 ppg on 50.5 percent shooting this season. He also leads the team with 27 total steals. Okaro White is third on the team, averaging 12.8 ppg.
As Florida State's long home portion of the schedule comes to an end, the Seminoles will have the upper edge because of stingy defense and great scoring in the paint.
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