Virginia fends off Florida State, extends win streak to 8

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 11 Feb, 2024 at 03:40 AM

Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Isaac McKneely scored a career-high 29 points and Virginia stretched its winning streak to eight games with an 80-76 victory over Florida State on Saturday night in Atlantic Coast Conference play at Tallahassee, Fla.

Reece Beekman matched his career best of 21 points and Jacob Groves had 10 for the Cavaliers (19-5, 10-3 ACC), who won their fourth consecutive road game.

Jamir Watkins scored 21 points before fouling out for Florida State (13-10, 7-5). Chandler Jackson added a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Seminoles, who have lost four of their past six games.

Florida State crept within 72-68 on a free throw by Jalen Warley with 1:11 left before McNeely nailed his fifth 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers a 75-68 lead with 56.5 seconds left.

The Seminoles kept the pressure on and pulled within 77-75 on a three-point play by Darin Green Jr. with 11.3 seconds left. McKneely made three of four free throws over the final 8.2 seconds to help Virginia hold on and remain in second place in the ACC.

The Cavaliers shot 50 percent from the field, including a solid 10 of 18 from 3-point range.

The Seminoles made 51.1 percent of their shots and were just 2 of 16 from behind the arc.

Virginia led by four at halftime and soon pushed the lead to 46-36 on a 3-pointer by McKneely with 15:05 left in the contest.

Beekman followed with a layup to make it a 12-point margin before the Seminoles scored seven of the next eight points to move within 49-43 with 12:19 left.

Groves made a 3-pointer and Dante Harris scored on a layup to give the Cavaliers an 11-point lead with 10:22 remaining. But the Seminoles erupted with Watkins scoring four straight and Jackson following with five in a row to cut the deficit to 54-52 with 8:24 left.

Groves knocked down another trey to halt the Florida State run and give Virginia a five-point edge with 8:08 to play. The shot started a 15-5 run as the Cavaliers built their lead to 69-57 with 3:53 remaining.

McKneely scored 13 first-half points to help the Cavaliers hold a 34-30 lead at the break. Watkins scored eight in the half for the Seminoles.

--Field Level Media