Coming off a 35-point thumping at the hands of Tennessee, Virginia was relentless tonight, as the Cavaliers came away from Florida State with a 62-50 victory. The win marked Virginia's seventh straight ACC-opener victory, and broke a 10-game losing streak on the road to the Seminoles. It's Virginia's first win in the state of Florida since 2001 after 17 attempts.
All-ACC Joe Harris had a quiet night, with no points, no rebounds, no assists and no fouls. That's because the senior took a couple hits to the head after just a couple minutes of play. Harris, with possession of the ball, had to call to Tony Bennett to stop the game, yelling that he simply couldn't see. Harris would come out for the remainder of the game.
Harris wasn't the only injury of the night. Virginia's Mike Tobey had to come out for a few minutes on a foot/leg injury, while Evan Nolte sat after dislocating his finger. Both Tobey and Nolte would return.
Virginia dominated the first half 3-17, with 20 points off Florida State turnovers. The Hoos picked up exactly where they left off in the second half, with a lead as great as 20 at one point.
But, as every Wahoo fan could predict, things wouldn't be a cakewalk to the finish. Florida Stat would pull within seven with under three minutes to play, after Justin Anderson fouled FSU's Aaron Thomas on a three-point shot. Thomas would miss the first, hit the second, and miss the third, but Florida State recovered the rebound and drained a three.
Free throws continue to be Issue #1 for Virginia, with the Hoos shooting 18 for 33, or 54.55%. The Hoos also didn't shoot their best tonight, only 32.76% (37.50% from three), but Florida State didn't do their part either, shooting 30.77% from the field, 28.57% from three, and just 63.64% from the free throw line.
In the highlights column, London Perrantes had a career night with 14 points. Justin Anderson continued his role as the team's leading scorer for the fourth game in a row with 16 points. In total, Virginia had four players with double-digit scoring - Anderson, Perrantes, Akil Mitchell (11) and Malcolm Brogdon (11). Mitchell had one of his most convincing games of the season, as fans were reminded of just how valuable he was to the team last season.
The win over Florida State will undoubtedly play a role come March, as any ACC road win will. The Seminoles were favored by four points by Vegas, and five points by Ken Pomeroy.
Virginia has a tough stretch of schedule coming up, hosting Wake Forest before going on the road to NC State and Duke, then returning to Charlottesville to play Florida State again and North Carolina. UVa and Wake tip off on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.