Sophomore Von Wafer kept Florida State in the game during the first half, but the Seminoles relied on their veteran players to hold off Virginia Tech 77-70 Saturday night.
Senior forward Adam Waleskowski's 3-pointer with 5:30 left tied it at 64. On FSU's next possession, junior Andrew Wilson scored on a baseline drive to put the Seminoles ahead for good.
"Toward the end we just lost our toughness," said Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, the former USF coach who was playing in his first game in Florida since joining the Hokies. "We were in position to win the game."
Waleskowski scored 13 and Wilson added a season-high 10.
Despite a season-worst 28 turnovers that kept the Hokies close, FSU (9-6, 1-1 ACC) played nearly mistake-free after taking the lead, something the Seminoles had trouble doing in earlier losses.
"If this is the 10th best team in the league, we're in for a fight," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We can't turn the ball over 28 times against many people in our league and be successful."
"Throughout the start of the season we let those teams hang around, and it came back to bite us in the butt," Waleskowski said. "(Turnovers have) been a big problem. (This game was) just a sign of our team growing."
The Seminoles were aided by good shooting: 58.5 percent from the field and 11-of-19 on 3-pointers. FSU made 18 of 23 free throws.
Meanwhile, Wafer was the Seminoles' offensive catalyst early as FSU took a 45-38 halftime lead in front of 8,818 at the Donald L. Tucker Center, its largest crowd of the season.
With former Seminoles star Tim Pickett in attendance, Wafer scored 17 in the half, including 12 straight late in the period.
His 3-pointer with 6:23 left in the half gave FSU a 27-26 lead. He followed with another 3, a breakaway dunk and a four-point play, all in less than two minutes.
"He's a guy that once he gets in his rhythm, it's hard for people to stop that guy," said Pickett, who was an All-ACC first-team selection and an NBA second-round draft pick last season.
But Wafer scored just four in the second half and finished with 21 as the Hokies forced the Seminoles into 16 turnovers and out of their transition game that had given Wafer many of his looks.
Virginia Tech (6-6, 0-2) took a 48-47 lead five minutes into the second half on a Carlos Dixon's layup, then took the lead again, 62-61, on Deron Washington's tip-in with 6:38 left before Waleskowski sparked a 15-2 run.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.