Noles keep rolling with win over #16 Virginia
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Okaro White says he doesn't mind being Florida State's sixth man.
Florida State's rail-thin 6-foot-8 sophomore came off the bench Saturday, scored 13 points and helped slow down Virginia star Mike Scott to spark the 21st-ranked Seminoles to a 58-55 victory.
"I really try to pinpoint what's going on in the game," White said about watching from the bench in the first few minutes of games. "I know when I go in what I can get."
And he got plenty Saturday, adding five rebounds in relief.
"Okaro has really settled in to being a go-to guy in the second half," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Okaro has been making an impact the whole year."
Scott was limited to only three second half attempts and four points while being tagged by White for much of that time.
Xavier Gibson added 10 points to help White offset some scoring lost from leading scorers Michael Snaer and Bernard James, who combined for just 12 points in Florida State's seventh straight ACC.
The Seminoles are in a first-place tie in the league.
"We're not going away," Snaer said. "We're in the hunt to win the title."
It's the first time that Florida State (16-6, 7-1) has won seven straight games in ACC play since joining the league in 1991-92.
No. 16 Virginia (17-4, 4-3) climbed back from a 13-point second-half deficit, but Jontel Evans' desperation 30-footer didn't get off in time before the final buzzer - it bounced off the rim anyway. Virginia's four losses this season have come by a total of 10 points.
Scott and Joe Harris led the Cavaliers with 16 points apiece. Scott also had 11 rebounds.
Virginia got the ball back with 34 seconds left and down three, but Harris missed a 3 and Deividas Dulkys was fouled on the rebound and sank the first of two shots to give Florida State a 56-52 lead with 14 seconds left.
Jeff Peterson added two free throws with 7 seconds left to make it 58-52, but Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon countered with a 3 to make it 58-55.
For a while in the second half it looked as if the Seminoles would pull away.
"We got sped up and rattled in a stretch there where if you want to be successful in a game like this, you can't turn it away," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "We've got to clean up some of these (20) turnovers and be more efficient to play against a team like this because baskets aren't easy to come by."
But Virginia climbed back into the game with a 14-0 run capped by Evans' layup off a steal that gave the Cavalier s 45-44 lead with 4:41 left after Florida State had opened a 13-point advantage twice earlier.
"We opened up the court a little more, went with four guards and got some transition buckets," Bennett said. "That got us into it. Shooting is a funny thing: you just never know when you're going to start hitting some."
Neither did Florida State's Snaer, who went scoreless for almost 36 minutes before breaking loose for eight points in the final 4:41.
Snaer's first basket of the game, a 3-pointer from the corner, put the Seminoles back into the lead at 47-45 and Luke Loucks followed with a driving layup seconds later to make it 49-45. Snaer added another 3 and a layup down the stretch.
It was a defensive battle from the opening tip with Scott and Harris combining for Virginia's first 17 points before Sammy Zeglinski's 3 got the Cavaliers to within 21-20 with 3:26 left in the half.
Scott hit four straight free throws in a 10-second span to tie the score at 17 after a flagrant foul was called on Gibson.
Florida State, which led 23-22 at halftime, had its biggest lead in the first half at 17-10.
The Seminoles have now won six straight over Virginia, which hasn't won in the series since the 2007 and is winless in Tallahassee since 2001.
Florida State visits Boston College on Wednesday before returning home for a two-game home stand starting with Miami on Feb. 11. Virginia returns home to host Wake Forest on Wednesday.