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Defense helps FSU Seminoles basketball team beat Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Coming off a loss at Miami in which its commitment to defense was lacking, Florida State made sure not to repeat the mistake against Virginia.

It didn't. Using an in-your-face defense that pushed Virginia's shooters far outside and keeping a hand in the face of anyone trying to shoot, the Seminoles held Virginia to three first-half field goals Saturday in a 73-62 victory that was never much of a contest.

In the process, the Seminoles showed themselves what they can do when they try.

"We just came off a bad loss, and our defensive intensity wasn't there when we played Miami," guard Toney Douglas said after leading the Seminoles with 21 points. "We had to make sure if we were going to lose a game, we'd lose with all-out effort, intensity and energy."

That was more than enough to overpower a Virginia team that has lost four in a row since opening conference play with a surprising overtime victory at Georgia Tech.

The Seminoles (16-4, 3-2 ACC) led 30-16 at the intermission and were up by as many as 21 points even when the Cavaliers started making shots.

"They systematically and methodically wore us down," Virginia coach Dave Leitao said, adding that he told his team the deficit at the half was manageable but too familiar. The Cavaliers (7-9, 1-4) had trailed by 14 and 15 in their past two games against ACC teams.

"You don't want to live like that," he said.

After Mamadi Diane's jumper with 13:54 left gave the Cavaliers their first field goal, they went 7½ minutes without a point.

FSU 73

Virginia 62

Defense helps FSU Seminoles basketball team beat Virginia 01/24/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:27pm]
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