TALLAHASSEE — Many Florida State fans had already started to leave Saturday night's game, comfortable their Seminoles were in good shape with a 10-point lead as the scoreboard ticked down below 40 seconds.
Did they ever miss an exciting finish.
Virginia Tech had nine points in 33 seconds to get within a point, and only some clutch free-throw shooting saved the home team.
"You don't want to ever leave until the end," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Anything can happen in this league."
Solomon Alabi and Deividas Dulkys had 13 points each as the 25th-ranked Seminoles escaped with a 63-58 victory that snapped a two-game ACC losing streak.
"Another blowout in the ACC," Hamilton said, chuckling. "We won by five."
FSU (14-4, 2-2) led by 10 before Dorenzo Hudson's layup with 37 seconds left cut it to 57-49.
Then Hudson, Terrell Bell and Malcolm Delaney hit 3-pointers within 21 seconds that brought the Hokies (13-3, 1-2) within one with four seconds left before Michael Snaer's two free throws put the Seminoles up 61-58.
FSU hit five straight free throws in the final eight seconds, including two by Dulkys after he intercepted a desperation Virginia Tech pass for a possible tying shot with 2.3 seconds left.
"We grinded our way back into the game," Hokies and former USF coach Seth Greenberg said. "We just weren't able to get over the hump."
Delaney, who went into the game leading the ACC in scoring, led Virginia Tech with 23 points, and Hudson had 19.
Derwin Kitchen had 11 points for the Seminoles, including a free throw that gave them a 59-55 lead with eight seconds left.
FSU's Chris Singleton was held to two points but added eight rebounds and five blocks as the Seminoles limited Virginia Tech to 34.5 percent shooting in claiming their third straight win over the Hokies.