TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Throughout the season, No. 13 Virginia has been a stronger team in the first half. On Sunday against Florida State, the Cavaliers were unable to hold on to their halftime lead.
Virginia led 28-25 at halftime and was up 39-36 at the second media timeout in the second half. But Florida State took control with a 12-3 run en route to a 69-62 victory.
The Cavaliers (13-4) have dropped three of their last four after starting the season 12-1. They also find themselves 2-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
"We're kind of looking for answers. So we'll keep searching for sure," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said.
Virginia came into the game making 56.6 percent from the field in the second half, but was 10 of 28 (35.7 percent) against the Seminoles. It is only the third time this season the Cavaliers have been outscored in the last 20 minutes.
London Parrantes led the Cavaliers with 19 points, while Anthony Gill added 13 and Malcolm Brogdon 10. Brogdon came in averaging 19.5 points in conference play.
Malik Beasley, who had 17 points, was the key player on the decisive run with five points. Beasley, who had 17 points, missed his first five shots from the field but made a big 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer to cut the Seminoles' deficit in half going into the locker room. In the second half, the ACC's leading freshmen scorer had 14 points as he made all four of his attempts from the field.
Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles (12-5, 2-3) with 18 points and nine rebounds while Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 11 points.
"This was a very big win for us, especially when you take into consideration we started off the conference race 0-3," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said after his team broke a five-game losing streak against ranked opponents. "Tonight we just (are) showing signs that we are maturing. We weren't quite as insecure. We played with a lot more confidence tonight than we did in some of the games earlier (in the season)."
Florida State would lead by as many as eight with six minutes remaining before a free throw by Parrantes brought Virginia to 57-53 with 3:03 remaining. On Florida State's ensuing possession, Terrance Mann missed a jumper but Rathan-Mayes chased down a long rebound and found Devon Bookert for a wide open 3-pointer to put the Seminoles up comfortably.
That would end up being Florida State's last field goal as it went 9 of 10 from the line to close out the game.
"It's tough. You're close and you need to have some things go well that haven't been going well but when you can't count on at least getting a stop and making them earn, those things hurt," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "''We either missed a bunny or didn't finish or they came away with a shot that was too much of a high percentage shot."
The game was close for most of the first half before Virginia went on a 10-2 run to lead 28-20 with 2:31 remaining. The Cavaliers hit 5 of 6 from the field during the spurt and got five points from Brogdon. The Seminoles closed out the half with five straight points, including Beasley's 3-pointer.
SUNSHINE STATE WOES
Virginia has dropped 18 of its last 20 games contested in the state of Florida. It is 1-11 in games at Florida State.
Virginia: The Cavaliers came into the game shooting 49 percent from the field but were 22 of 56 against Florida State (39.3 percent). It is Virginia's second-worst shooting performance of the season.
Florida State: The Seminoles made 12 of 19 from the field in the second half, including 4 of 6 3-pointers. They were 9 of 24 from the field in the first half. ... Beasley has scored in double figures in 17 straight games, which is tied with Virginia's Gill for the second longest streak in the ACC. Syracuse's Michael Gbinjie is the leader, scoring in double figures in his last 20 games.
Virginia hosts Clemson on Tuesday night.
Florida State is at No. 21 Louisville on Wednesday night.
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