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Florida State defeats Virginia Tech 70-50 at home
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Aaron Thomas hit a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 24 points to lead Florida State to a 70-50 victory over Virginia Tech in Atlantic Coast Conference action. The Seminoles broke a season-high three-game losing streak in the process.
Thomas warmed up in the second half with a stretch of three consecutive 3-pointers to give Florida State a 15-point lead. Okaro White finished with 15 points and eight rebounds as the Seminoles (14-8, 5-5 ACC) played without leading scorer Ian Miller (ankle).
Will Johnston scored 12 points for Virginia Tech (8-14, 1-9) while Cadarian Raines added 13. The Hokies entered the game as the worst shooting team in the conference with a field goal percentage of 37.3 in conference play. They shot 34 percent in the loss.
Virginia Tech has lost nine consecutive games.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton changed the starting lineup Wednesday, sitting point guard Devon Bookert and center Bojanovsky in favor of Aaron Thomas and Michael Ojo. The start was Ojo’s first of the year and the second for Thomas. Miller sprained his ankle in a loss to Clemson last week.
The lineup change - and a slower pace - equated to the Hokies missing more shots (12) than Florida State attempted (10) in the first 11 ½ minutes of the game. Field goal attempts, however, didn’t matter against struggling Virginia Tech
The Hokies shot 29 percent in the first half and trailed 31-20 at halftime.
Florida State used a 9-2 run to the close the first half and extended its largest lead of the game to 11. The run was keyed by the rare five-point play when Montay Brandon hit a 3-pointer as Jarquez Smith was fouled near the basket. Smith then hit both free throws.
Thomas buried three consecutive three-point baskets early in the second half, the last with a hand in his face, to bump the Florida State lead to 15. The Hokies had cut the lead to nine, but didn’t have enough offense to hang around.
Virginia Tech finished with 15 more field goal attempts, but Florida State shot 43.5 percent from the field. The Hokies have lost 11-of-12 haven’t won a game in 2014.
“We didn’t play as smart as we need to,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “They were just a little overmatched.
“(Thomas), he was the difference in the game tonight.”
By David A. Clarke Jr.
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