CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Consecutive lousy performances on the road had Virginia eager to get home, even if it had to wait a week.
The Cavaliers took their frustration out on Florida State on Saturday in a 56-36 victory that featured a fast start and stifling defense throughout.
Joe Harris scored 17, Akil Mitchell had 13 and the Cavs (12-5, 2-2 ACC) ended a seven-game losing streak against the Seminoles. They took command with a 22-4 first-half run, during which they held the Seminoles scoreless for nearly nine minutes.
"That week off really helped us, got some guys focused," senior point guard and team captain Jontel Evans said. "We came out on fire and clicking on all cylinders, on both ends, but I really feel like our defense was what made the difference."
The Cavaliers led 33-15 at halftime, the fifth time this season they have held an opponent under 20 first-half points. It was the first time they have done it in an ACC game since they led Clemson 28-14 on Feb. 10, 1996. They have kept a team under 40 points four times this season.
Michael Snaer scored nine to lead the Seminoles (10-7, 2-2), who shot 37 percent and made 1 of 15 3-pointers.
"Normally we would knock those shots down, but tonight we couldn't and it changed the game," Snaer said.
FSU's Terrance Shannon was carried off the court on a stretcher late in the game. Team doctor Bill Hamilton said the redshirt junior forward appeared to have suffered a neck sprain and would be held overnight in a hospital as a precaution.