Virginia Tech fell to 0-2 in ACC play Tuesday night after losing a hard-fought game to the Florida State Seminoles, 63-59 in Cassell Coliseum.
“I thought we competed hard,” said Seth Greenberg, head coach. “We didn’t compete offensively the first 15 minutes of the game. We weren’t strong with the ball, we didn’t get people off us, we didn’t get by people. We were out of sync.”
Florida State played solid defense all game long, holding the Hokies to just 18.8 percent from the field in the first half and 31 percent for the game.
“It’s hard, playing against a long team,” said point guard Erick Green. “They kind of reminded me of Syracuse, in terms of how long and athletic they are."
The Seminoles contested every one of the Hokies shots and racked up 10 blocks in the first half and finished the game with 15 total, the most blocks Tech has given up since the 1988 season against Georgetown. 6’4” guard Deividas Dulkys led the team with five for the game, all coming in the first half.
Senior Dorenzo Hudson said the Hokies were prepared for Florida State’s intensity on the defensive end.
“We weren’t surprised,” Hudson said. “I just felt like we were being a little passive in the first half and not being strong with the basketball and going to the rim.”
Freshman Dorian Finney-Smith helped keep Tech in the game during the first half. He nailed a huge three pointer after offensive rebounds from Cadarian Raines and C.J. Barksdale that sent the crowd into an uproar.
Unnatural for the Hokies, who seem to shine when running the fast break against defenses, they scored no transition points the entire first half and went into the locker room down by nine, 30-21.
“Florida State’s a good team, I just wish we would’ve come to play 40 minutes instead of one half,” Green said.
The Hokies gained momentum just five minutes into the second half with three straight big plays.
Barksdale got a steal and finished the play with a layup at the other end of the court. Florida State then got a quick shot off, that Green rebounded and took to the other end that led to a tip in by Finney-Smith, putting Tech within six. Jarrell Eddie followed that up by taking a charge on the other end.
After only full court pressing after made baskets, the Hokies began to put pressure on the Florida State guards after every inbounds late in the second half, leading to turnovers and quick points. However, the strategy backfired in several instances, as the ‘Noles got past Tech’s press and were able to make easy buckets.
With nine minutes left in the game, Green began to take charge, scoring seven points in a 90-second span with four free throws and a three-pointer to bring the Hokies within five. Green finished a perfect 10 of 10 from the free-throw line and had 21 points on the night.