FSU muscles past Virginia 69-59
CHARLOTTE -- Fourth-seeded Florida State put four players in double-figures, shot 56.5 percent from the field, and dominated the glass 35-20 in a 69-59 win over top-seeded UVa in the semifinals Friday night.
Led by David Nichol's game-high 14 points, the Noles (27-6) also got 11 points from Phil Cofer and 10 each from Trent Forrest and Mifondu Kabengele. That output was a pretty drastic departure from the first meeting between these teams, a game UVa won in a rout. That afternoon in Charlottesville, Cofer had a team-high nine while Nichols and Kabengele each had five with Forrest scoring just one point.
The Wahoos, meanwhile, exit this event after struggling from the floor and especially from deep: UVa was just 5-for-24 (20.8 percent) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Cavaliers (29-3) were led by De'Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome, who had 13, 11, and 10, respectively.
Cofer hit a 3-pointer 21 seconds into the game to give the Seminoles the lead, followed by a baseline drive by Hunter. After Christ Koumadjie—who had nine points and nine boards—scored on an alley-oop from Terance Mann, Hunter hit a mid-range J over him. Jack Salt (who had eight points and five boards in the loss) scored inside to give UVa its first lead at 16:37 before Koumadjie dunked again, this time off an assist from Forrest.
By the under-12, FSU was up three thanks to a 6-0 run and, after Braxton Key scored his second putback in three and a half minutes, the Seminoles went on a 7-0 spurt and had a 20-10.
The Wahoos responded, going on a 9-2 run to stop the bleeding but the Noles were game. They ripped off six straight points and then after UVa scored the next seven, Florida State scored six before the end of the half.
That UVa had gotten a 3 from Guy and a jumper from Salt before the break gave the Hoos some hope and after seesawing a bit, with 14:25 UVa grabbed the lead back 10-2 run. But Nichols scored and even after Kihei Clark—who had nine points and no turnovers on the night—hit a jumper, Kabengele scored on back to back trips, first off an offensive board and then on a 3-pointer.
Over the next four and a half minutes, the Noles would extend the lead from a point to 11 of them and with 7:32 to play, the writing was on the wall as he Hoos called timeout to bring the under-8. Despite allowing just one field goal over the final 6:43, UVa couldn't get back within a possession, going 3-for-11 from the floor with none coming in the final 2:16.