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Florida State Seminoles basketball team beats Virginia Tech to secure first-round bye in ACC tournament

TALLAHASSEE — Toney Douglas' second-half scoring eruptions have carried Florida State all season.

He did it again Sunday, and it propelled the Seminoles into an opening-round bye in the ACC tournament.

The 6-foot-1 dynamo scored 16 of his 22 in the second half to lead No. 24 FSU to a 63-53 win over Virginia Tech. He scored 12 in the minutes after the Hokies pulled within 45-42.

"I feel like I can score whenever I want," Douglas said. "I know what I'm going to end up doing. I had to take over."

FSU secured the fourth seed in the ACC tournament and dealt a major blow to Virginia Tech's NCAA hopes. Coach Seth Greenberg could only shake his head about the player he said might be the league's MVP.

"Every time down the stretch he makes a play," the former USF coach said. "I don't think there's been many times this season when he's had the opportunity to make a play that he hasn't."

Greenberg had warned his players Douglas would try to take the game over after it got close.

"We knew they'd go to him," he said. "(And) he comes down and makes two 3-pointers."

It didn't surprise Douglas' coach, Leonard Hamilton.

"I could see it in his eyes," Hamilton said. "He wanted this day to end right."

Playing his final game before home fans on senior day, Douglas, tops in conference play with more than 23 points per game, didn't get his first field goal until 10:30 was gone in the first half, finally hitting a runner just outside the lane.

Then he came alive, sparking the run that gave the Seminoles a 59-49 lead, and they cruised from there. He also led the team with three assists and two steals, giving him 60 on the season.

FSU (23-8, 10-6) led 32-25 after a ragged first half in which the teams combined for 23 turnovers and the Hokies shot 24 percent. The Seminoles led all game.

"We just couldn't get over the hump," Greenberg said.

A.D. Vassallo scored 14 to lead Virginia Tech (17-13, 7-9). Vassallo, the Hokies' leading scorer, didn't get his first field goal until 2:09 was gone in the second half. He managed only two free throws before the break.

The Seminoles' 23 wins are their most since the 1992-93 team that finished 25-10 before being eliminated in the NCAA's round of eight by Kentucky.

No. 24 FSU 63

Va. Tech 53

Florida State Seminoles basketball team beats Virginia Tech to secure first-round bye in ACC tournament 03/08/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 8, 2009 10:59pm]
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