Virginia Basketball 2013: The Tale of Two Teams. So which Virginia team decided to show up on Thursday night? Virginia suffered a heart-breaking loss against Florida State on Thursday night after nearly completing an amazing comeback. Every ACC game is critical for the Wahoos after their devastating loss against Boston College over the weekend. The Cavs fell victim to the “Duke effect”, like their fellow ACC rival Maryland Terrapins, by losing immediately following a win against the powerhouse team from Durham. With a 20-9 overall record and 10-6 in the ACC, Virginia knew that losing to Florida State could undo all their hard work and success of knocking off teams like Wisconsin and Duke.
Both teams got off to a rocky start in the first half by shooting extremely poorly from the field. It was obvious that the low score was not a product of good defense, but it was pitiful offense. Virginia tried to give their star, Joe Harris, the ball as often as possible, but it seemed Harris’s slump from the Boston College game carried over to tonight. His teammates did not help very much either with Jontel Evans going 0-5 from the field and Paul Jesperson going 0-3. In fact, Virginia only had 3 players score in the first half, Joe Harris, Akil Mitchel, and Mike Tobey. Tobey, who was back for his second game from mononucleosis, seemed to be the bright spot for the Cavs. Despite Tobey’s strong half of 10 points and 5 offensive boards, the Cavaliers trailed Florida State 26-23.
Florida State continued their first half success early in the second half by opening up an eight-point lead before Virginia coach Tony Bennet took a timeout. Despite Bennet’s efforts, Florida State continued to add to their lead and ultimately led by 11 with 6 minutes left in the game until Virginia freshman, Justin Anderson, provided a spark to the Cavaliers offense by stealing the ball and finishing with a throw down jam. After a couple possessions of lockdown defense and successful shooting on the offensive end, the Wahoos were able to cut the lead down to 4 points. Florida State suddenly lost all momentum in their direction and the Cavaliers continued their 13-3 run with phenomenal defense and crashing the boards, eventually taking their first lead of the half with 1:28 remaining. After a couple back and forth possessions, Florida State trailed by one point with 12 seconds remaining, but the Seminoles fed their best player Michael Snaer who was able to score the layup and draw a foul. With 4.4 seconds left on the clock, Virginia looked disorganized on their last possession and Joe Harris was unable to even get a shot off, which characterized the Cavaliers performance as a whole on this Thursday night. After tonight, Virginia’s game against Maryland is undoubtedly a must-win situation. For coverage of Virginia-Maryland, tune into Fansided on Sunday night!