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Stopping the skid

There's no real way around it.

Dulkys now has come to expect three pointers from the opposition.

And the No. 22 Florida State Seminoles aren't hiding from it.

In their last two games – both of them losses – the Seminoles have looked, at best, vulnerable to opponents' 3-point shooting. At worst, FSU's 3-point defense has been a serious liability.

In a 74-66 loss to Duke last week, Florida State (19-9, 10-4 ACC) surrendered 13 3-pointers. In its next game, at Miami, FSU allowed nine – almost all of them timely. And both the Blue Devils and Hurricanes shot well above their season average in 3-point field goal percentage.

So as they prepare for their final two regular season games, the first of which comes tonight at Virginia (21-7, 8-6 ACC), the Seminoles are expecting teams to try to exploit the apparent weakness.

“I would,” guard Deividas Dulkys said. “Everybody does all the scouting reports and they look for weaknesses and that has been our weakness. I assume they would try to do that.”

In Virginia, the Seminoles could find that attack coming from a number of different directions, most likely in the form of guards Joe Harris and Sammy Zeglinski, both of whom are threats from beyond the arc.

Even center Mike Scott, the ACC's best shooter (57.3 percent from the field) and third-leading scorer isn't afraid to pull up for an open 3.

“We need to be sharp with our defense, sharp with our execution, and I think that's where we've come up short in the last couple games,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “...Virginia still is a team, that, they're very dangerous from the '3.'

“Harris is an excellent shooter. Sammy has gone off for big numbers from the perimeter. The (Paul) Jesperson kid now is, 70 percent of his shot are 3s. And then they have a post guy (Scott) who scores a lot from mid-range. He's not a low post guy attacking the basket.”

Florida State had success defending the Cavaliers in their first meeting, a 58-55 FSU victory. Virginia is 3-3 since that meeting, although two of those losses have come to No. 7 North Carolina.

Meanwhile FSU will be looking to avoid its first three-game ACC losing streak in more than four years.

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