Virginia Tech was a on a nine game losing streak when Florida State came to town. The Hokies ended that streak by defeating the Seminoles 80-70 Sunday night.
The 'Noles led by as much as six, 21-15, with 4:26 left in the first half when Tech began its move. A floater by Robert Brown, a slam dunk by CJ Barksdale off a lazy pass by Michael Snaer to Boris Bojanovsky, and two free throws by Erik Green off a technical foul called on Leonard Hamilton for beefing a traveling call on Bojanovsky too much tied the score at 21 all.
Hamilton said it was his first technical in probably seven years.
After the teams traded baskets, Green's three ball gave the Hokies the lead for good.
Trailing 28-26 at the half, the Seminoles could not have started out much worse. Tech connected on four three pointers in the first 4:30 to build a 42-29 lead.
"At the start of the second half, we just did not rev it up," Hamilton said.
Hamilton pointed to the team losing focus and patience.
"When it was 47-51, we put up four quick shots," Hamilton commented. Noting VT had just one blocked shot in the game, "We did not attack the basket like they did against us."
After Okaro White's put back to make the score 60-53, Hamilton decided to press foul with 2:37 remaining. The strategy seemed like it might work when Barksdale made one of two and Aaron Thomas hit a jumper in the lane.
But Tech did not oblige after that, connecting on its next sixteen charity shots.
Why Hamilton made the decision to send Tech to the line with that much time remaining he did not immediately address. Perhaps it was a lack of confidence in his team's defense that allowed the Hokies to shoot 59% in the second half (50% for the game) and tried to make them win it at the stripe rather than be picked apart on the floor.
White led the Seminoles with 18 points. Devon Bookert added 14 and Thomas 10. As a team FSU shot 45%.
Green led all scorers with 26 points. Barksdale and Brown had 17 and 11 respectively.
With the loss, FSU falls to 14-13, 6-8.
Hamilton realistically appraised the situation saying "We will try and get as many wins as we can, get into the ACC tournament and see if we can upset some people."
The Seminoles will try and get payback for an earlier loss to Wake Forest when FSU hosts the Deacons for a 9:00 tip off on Tuesday night.
Notebook: Terry Whisanant did not make the trip to Blacksburg to return to North Carolina due the pasing away of his grandmother.