Florida State's march through the ACC continued on Saturday as the No. 21 Seminoles (16-6, 7-1) held of 16th-ranked Virginia (18-4, 5-3) 58-55 on Saturday.
Okaro White led the Seminoles with 13 points. (Photo: Travis Register)
The win marked FSU's seventh in a row in conference play, a run that has never been equaled in school history and started with a 63-59 win at Virginia Tech back on January 10th.
Saturday's victory kept Leonard Hamilton's group at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings and marked the team's third win this season against a ranked opponent.
"It was one of those typical ACC games that probably could have gone either way," Coach Hamilton said. "Two determined defensive teams that forced each other into turnovers.
"We are very proud of our players. I thought they fought very hard. We didn't play nearly as well as maybe we would have liked. but I think that is one of the positives for the this team is that there is room for improvement as we keep finding ways to win and pull games out."
Florida State jumped out to a 13-point lead midway through the second half, but Virginia stormed right back erasing the Seminoles' advantage taking a one-point lead of their own.
Joe Harris, who finished tied for the lead in points scored for Virginia, hit three from beyond the arc at crucial points en route to his 16-point total.
Jontel Evans took matters into his own hands driving and distributing in the paint scoring eight and collecting five assists.
"We were able to get a spurt there in the second half and get up 13," Coach Hamilton remembered. "They changed their attack and started taking us off the dribble. Whenever you have two guys on the floor like Zeglinski and Harris, you don't want to leave them when you know they are capable of knocking those three's down and Harris did that."
"We opened up the court a little more and got four guards out there," Virginia's coach Tony Bennett added.
"[Evans] was huge for us in that stretch. He opened up the floor a little bit and some guys stuck some three pointers."
Showing the poise that a group of veterans should be expected to have, FSU held back the 'Hoos surge.
Junior Michael Snaer stepped up hitting some clutch shots when his team needed him the most - including a three pointer putting FSU back in the lead after Virginia had captured it late.
"Michael has been really playing great basketball in the clutch," Coach Hamilton said of Snaer who finished with eight points. "It is a typical youngster growing and maturing and playing with the level of confidence it takes to compete at this level."
Sophomore forward Okaro White led the Seminoles with 13 points and Xavier Gibson added 10 of his own.
"Okaro has been making an impact the whole year and he is excepting his role," Coach Hamilton said. "He is a star, he is just not out there when we throw the ball up."
Florida State will have a chance to extend their conference winning streak to eight in a row on February 8th at Boston College. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
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