#2 UVA manhandles #9 Florida State in ACC opener

UVA basketballSecond-ranked UVA hadn’t played anybody. Ninth-ranked Florida State is big, battle-tested – they made the Elite Eight last year!

The ‘Hoos were 10-point favorites, but, no way. This game was going to be a grind.

It was. For about eight minutes.

Virginia closed out the first half on a 24-8 run to lead by 19, and FSU never didn’t look out of sorts in what turned into a 65-52 Cavaliers win on Saturday in the ACC opener for both.

UVA (13-0, 1-0 ACC) had played the 271st-toughest non-conference schedule in November and December, and it looked like it briefly.

FSU (12-2, 0-1 ACC) led 8-4 at the first media timeout, as Virginia seemed bothered by the size of the Seminoles.

That didn’t last long. Alabama transfer Braxton Key played a key role in the alchemy, scoring 12 in 15 minutes off the bench as a stretch-four.

Kyle Guy, meanwhile, continued his torrid shooting from Monday, when he scored 30 on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor, and 7-of-9 from three in the 100-64 win over Marshall.

Guy had 18 in the first half, on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 from three, as Virginia built a 42-23 lead at the break.

The second half was, ugly. Only way to put it. UVA missed 12 of 13 shots in one lengthy stretch, but the ‘Hoos never led by less than 21 until garbage time.

For some reason, FSU pressed with rotation guys against the UVA third-stringers, and closed the game on a 16-0 scoring run in the final 2:01.

Guy finished with 21, and Key had 20, in 26 minutes off the bench. Both were 7-of-11 from the floor.

Phil Cofer led Florida State with nine points.

Story by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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