Virginia got off to an early lead, up by as many as seven in the first half, before the Noles came together as a team and started running away with it. The Cavs used eight treys in the second half to come back from as much as 16 down to make it a four point game with three minutes to go, but were unable to complete the rally.
Virginia was up 19-15 when FSU's All American candidate Chris Singleton left the game midway through the first half with a fractured right foot. What appeared to a windfall for the Wahoos turned into a disaster, as every Nole stepped up their game to make up for the loss. Florida State immediately went on a 21-4 run extending over two halves.
The Hoos were without Will Sherrill last night, as he had re-injured his leg during the Miami game.
"Hopefully he'll be able to return soon," Tony Bennett said. "When he's able to play, he'll play."
Not that this serves as any sort of excuse for what can only be described as a rough season, but the team has taken quite the beating in personnel this season. At the end of last season, Virginia lost Sylven Landesberg (went pro), Tristan Spurlock (transferred to UCF) and Jeff Jones (transferred to Rider). This season, Virginia has lost leading scorer and rebounder Mike Scott (injury), freshman Billy Baron (transferred to Rhode Island), and Will Sherrill (injury -- though he's expected to return).
That's basically an entire team, and a not-too-shabby one, at that.
A couple positive notes from last night's game:
- Turnover City. Virginia was able to force 16 FSU turnovers, and earned 16 points off of them. This is partly because of the Hoos' four-guard lineup against FSU's two, and partly because Evans and Zeglinski were omnipresent on defense.
- Charity Stripe. Virginia only made it to the line eight times, but at least they made it count, sinking seven of them. Compare this to the 9-22 free throw performance last week against Miami in an overtime loss.
The Hoos are now 12-12 on the season and will try to stay above .500 when they host No. 5 Duke on Wednesday.