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Vassell, Polite help No. 9 Florida State edge Virginia 54-50

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State matched Virginia’s pressure. And raised the ante.

Devin Vassell scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws in the final seconds, and No. 9 Florida State won its eighth straight game, beating Virginia 54-50 on Wednesday night.

Anthony Polite came off the bench to drill four 3-pointers for the Seminoles (15-2, 5-1 ACC), who have won 15 of their last 16. Polite had a career-high 14 points.

Florida State had 16 turnovers. But the Seminoles won with their trademark defense, creating 10 steals, blocking five shots and forcing Virginia into 18 turnovers.

“Some people will say this was not a very pretty game,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “It was beautiful to me.”

Florida State made plenty of mistakes but also connected on critical 3-pointers to break Virginia’s pack-line defense. Early on, with FSU struggling, Polite hit three 3-pointers - including one at the halftime buzzer that put the Seminoles up 31-24.

Virginia clawed back into the game and the lead changed hands down the stretch. Kihei Clark put the Cavaliers ahead 46-44 with 5:23 to go. The teams traded baskets before Polite tied it at 47 with 2:27 left.

FSU took control from there. Vassell knocked down a 3-pointer and hit a pair of free throws while Trent Forrest made two of three free-throw attempts. Virginia couldn't respond, turning it over three times and making just one more shot, a 3-pointer.

The Seminoles won amid a role reversal for the teams - Florida State as the top-10 team and Virginia as the unranked challenger.

“We feel like we've always been the underdogs,” Vassell said. “We haven't had that spotlight on us. Every game, we're getting everybody's best shot.”

Mamadi Diakite scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Virginia (11-5, 3-3), which turned it over 18 times and made just 21 shots from the floor. Tomas Woldetensae was 3 of 4 from 3-point range but the rest of the Cavaliers were 0 for 11 from beyond the arc.

Virginia, the defending national champion, has lost three straight games.

“Our inexperience shows at times,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “It takes courage to not get discouraged. You can't be soft. You can self-reflect and be disappointed. But don't you dare get discouraged. You have to be strong and tough mentally.”

The Cavaliers shot 21 of 46 (45.7%) from the floor.

Forrest had five points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals. The Seminoles had 10 steals and five blocks.

Florida State shot 20 of 54 (37%) and was 8 of 22 (36.4%) from beyond the 3-point arc.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Florida State, which was unranked to begin the season, could make an argument to move up even more if the Seminoles add a victory at Miami.

TOP 5 FOR HAMILTON

Hamilton has won 160 ACC games in 18 seasons at Florida State, tying him with Frank McGuire (North Carolina and South Carolina) for fifth most in league history.

HISTORY LESSON

Florida State took a 26-25 lead in the all-time series.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers were undone by their own mistakes as they made 12 shots from the floor but had 11 turnovers in the first half alone.

Florida State: The Seminoles have won five straight ACC games. They have beaten three ranked teams - then-No. 6 Florida, then-No. 7 Louisville and then No. 16-Tennessee. The Cavaliers fell out of the rankings this week.

UP NEXT

Virginia: At Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Florida State: At Miami on Saturday.

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1st Half

Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Virginia  
19:33   Kody Stattmann missed jump shot  
19:31   Defensive rebound by Devin Vassell  
19:22 +3 Devin Vassell made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trent Forrest 0-3
18:58 +2 Mamadi Diakite made jump shot 2-3
18:47 +2 Trent Forrest made layup 2-5
18:47   Shooting foul on Mamadi Diakite  
18:47 +1 Trent Forrest made free throw 2-6
18:28   Out of bounds turnover on Mamadi Diakite  
18:10 +3 Malik Osborne made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trent Forrest 2-9
17:43   Kihei Clark missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:41   Defensive rebound by Raiquan Gray  
17:34 +2 Raiquan Gray made jump shot 2-11
17:13 +2 Braxton Key made layup 4-11
16:46   Shooting foul on Braxton Key  
16:46 +1 Raiquan Gray made 1st of 2 free throws 4-12
16:46   Raiquan Gray missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
16:46   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
16:25   Bad pass turnover on Kihei Clark, stolen by M.J. Walker  
16:15   Malik Osborne missed layup  
16:13   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
15:54 +2 Braxton Key made layup 6-12
15:30   M.J. Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:28   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
15:17   Casey Morsell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:15   Offensive rebound by Casey Morsell  
15:10 +2 Casey Morsell made layup 8-12
14:56   Raiquan Gray missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:54   Offensive rebound by Raiquan Gray  
14:47   Devin Vassell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:45   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
14:33 +2 Kihei Clark made layup 10-12
14:08   Lost ball turnover on M.J. Walker, stolen by Braxton Key  
14:02   Casey Morsell missed layup, blocked by Trent Forrest  
14:02   Offensive rebound by Virginia  
13:59   Bad pass turnover on Kody Stattmann  
13:40   Dominik Olejniczak missed layup  
13:38   Offensive rebound by Florida State  
13:35   Offensive foul on Patrick Williams  
13:35   Turnover on Patrick Williams  
13:22   Personal foul on Patrick Williams  
13:15   Braxton Key missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:13   Defensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
13:11   Personal foul on Kihei Clark  
13:05   Devin Vassell missed jump shot  
13:03   Defensive rebound by Tomas Woldetensae  
12:47   Casey Morsell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:45   Defensive rebound by Florida State  
12:33   Raiquan Gray missed layup  
12:31   Defensive rebound by Chase Coleman  
12:20   Chase Coleman missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:18   Defensive rebound by Devin Vassell  
11:49   Lost ball turnover on Rayquan Evans  
11:49   Jumpball received by Florida State  
11:49   Lost ball turnover on Jay Huff, stolen by Dominik Olejniczak  
11:46   Personal foul on M.J. Walker  
11:26   Tomas Woldetensae missed layup  
11:24   Defensive rebound by Dominik Olejniczak  
11:05   M.J. Walker missed jump shot  
11:03   Defensive rebound by Braxton Key  
10:46 +2 Mamadi Diakite made jump shot 12-12
10:16   Raiquan Gray missed jump shot  
10:14   Defensive rebound by Tomas Woldetensae  
10:03   Kihei Clark missed layup, blocked by Dominik Olejniczak  
10:01   Offensive rebound by Virginia  
10:03   Tomas Woldetensae missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:01   Defensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
9:54 +2 Mamadi Diakite made jump shot, assist by Tomas Woldetensae 14-12
9:06   Lost ball turnover on Anthony Polite  
9:06 +2 Anthony Polite made layup 14-14
8:39 +2 Jay Huff made layup, assist by Kihei Clark 16-14
8:24   Malik Osborne missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:22   Offensive rebound by Malik Osborne  
8:03   Out of bounds turnover on M.J. Walker  
7:35 +2 Braxton Key made layup 18-14
7:14 +2 Devin Vassell made jump shot 18-16
6:58   Lost ball turnover on Kihei Clark, stolen by Trent Forrest  
6:48 +2 Devin Vassell made dunk, assist by Trent Forrest 18-18
6:39 +2 Jay Huff made dunk, assist by Tomas Woldetensae 20-18
6:21 +2 Devin Vassell made layup, assist by Trent Forrest 20-20
5:58   Braxton Key missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:56   Defensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
5:47   Wyatt Wilkes missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:45   Defensive rebound by Tomas Woldetensae  
5:23 +2 Casey Morsell made layup, assist by Kihei Clark 22-20
5:12   M.J. Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:10   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
4:53 +2 Kihei Clark made layup 24-20
4:38   Lost ball turnover on Trent Forrest, stolen by Kihei Clark  
4:20   Kihei Clark missed layup, blocked by Malik Osborne  
4:18   Defensive rebound by M.J. Walker  
4:15   Lost ball turnover on Trent Forrest  
3:54   Personal foul on M.J. Walker  
3:48   Lost ball turnover on Mamadi Diakite, stolen by Anthony Polite  
3:37 +3 Anthony Polite made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Devin Vassell 24-23
3:15   Bad pass turnover on Kihei Clark, stolen by Devin Vassell  
3:08 +2 Devin Vassell made dunk 24-25
2:51   Bad pass turnover on Kihei Clark  
2:20   Shot clock violation turnover on Wyatt Wilkes  
2:04   Lost ball turnover on Braxton Key, stolen by Trent Forrest  
1:49   Anthony Polite missed jump shot  
1:47   Offensive rebound by Devin Vassell  
1:42   Devin Vassell missed jump shot  
1:40   Offensive rebound by Malik Osborne  
1:26   Trent Forrest missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:22   Defensive rebound by Virginia  
1:15   Lost ball turnover on Mamadi Diakite, stolen by Anthony Polite  
1:04 +3 Anthony Polite made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Devin Vassell 24-28
45.0   Out of bounds turnover on Kody Stattmann  
38.0   Trent Forrest missed jump shot  
36.0   Defensive rebound by Virginia  
12.0   Kody Stattmann missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10.0   Defensive rebound by Florida State  
10.0   Personal foul on Braxton Key  
4.0 +3 Anthony Polite made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trent Forrest 24-31

2nd Half

Time Team Play Score
19:44 +2 Braxton Key made layup, assist by Tomas Woldetensae 26-31
19:30   Personal foul on Casey Morsell  
19:25 +2 M.J. Walker made jump shot 26-33
18:55   Braxton Key missed jump shot  
18:53   Defensive rebound by Malik Osborne  
18:33   Trent Forrest missed layup  
18:31   Offensive rebound by Malik Osborne  
18:22   M.J. Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:20   Defensive rebound by Mamadi Diakite  
18:13 +2 Mamadi Diakite made layup, assist by Kihei Clark 28-33
18:01   Devin Vassell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:59   Defensive rebound by Braxton Key  
17:47   Shooting foul on Trent Forrest  
17:47 +1 Mamadi Diakite made 1st of 2 free throws 29-33
17:47   Mamadi Diakite missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
17:47   Defensive rebound by Raiquan Gray  
17:23   Personal foul on Mamadi Diakite  
17:15   Out of bounds turnover on M.J. Walker  
16:57 +2 Mamadi Diakite made layup, assist by Kihei Clark 31-33
16:29   Bad pass turnover on Trent Forrest  
16:05   Kihei Clark missed layup  
16:03   Defensive rebound by Devin Vassell  
16:00 +2 Devin Vassell made jump shot 31-35
15:40   Out of bounds turnover on Casey Morsell  
15:29   Trent Forrest missed layup  
15:27   Defensive rebound by Mamadi Diakite  
15:01   Kihei Clark missed layup  
14:59   Defensive rebound by Anthony Polite  
14:51   Devin Vassell missed jump shot  
14:49   Defensive rebound by Mamadi Diakite  
14:34   Traveling violation turnover on Kihei Clark  
14:19   Offensive foul on Patrick Williams  
14:19   Turnover on Patrick Williams  
13:50 +3 Tomas Woldetensae made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kihei Clark 34-35
13:34   Patrick Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:32   Offensive rebound by Dominik Olejniczak  
13:15   Lost ball turnover on Trent Forrest, stolen by Mamadi Diakite  
13:10   Shooting foul on Anthony Polite  
13:10   Braxton Key missed 1st of 2 free throws  
13:10 +1 Braxton Key made 2nd of 2 free throws 35-35
12:56   Patrick Williams missed jump shot  
12:54   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
12:29   Mamadi Diakite missed jump shot  
12:27   Offensive rebound by Mamadi Diakite  
12:11   Mamadi Diakite missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:09   Defensive rebound by Rayquan Evans  
11:53   Bad pass turnover on Anthony Polite, stolen by Braxton Key  
11:41   Braxton Key missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:39   Defensive rebound by Devin Vassell  
11:31   Bad pass turnover on Rayquan Evans, stolen by Kihei Clark  
11:24 +2 Kihei Clark made jump shot 37-35
10:59 +2 Patrick Williams made jump shot 37-37
10:40   Traveling violation turnover on Kihei Clark  
10:16   Personal foul on Braxton Key  
10:01   Lost ball turnover on Trent Forrest, stolen by Casey Morsell  
9:51   Casey Morsell missed layup, blocked by Patrick Williams  
9:49   Defensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
9:40 +3 M.J. Walker made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trent Forrest 37-40
9:40   Personal foul on Trent Forrest  
9:28   Shooting foul on Devin Vassell  
9:28 +1 Mamadi Diakite made 1st of 2 free throws 38-40
9:28 +1 Mamadi Diakite made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-40
9:14   Devin Vassell missed jump shot  
9:12   Offensive rebound by Patrick Williams  
9:05 +2 Patrick Williams made tip-in 39-42
8:34   Kihei Clark missed jump shot  
8:32   Defensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
8:25   Bad pass turnover on Raiquan Gray, stolen by Mamadi Diakite  
8:08   Kihei Clark missed layup  
8:06   Defensive rebound by Raiquan Gray  
7:53   Jumpball received by Florida State  
7:38   Malik Osborne missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Mamadi Diakite  
7:36   Offensive rebound by Florida State  
7:34 +2 Malik Osborne made jump shot, assist by Trent Forrest 39-44
7:11 +3 Tomas Woldetensae made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Mamadi Diakite 42-44
6:54   M.J. Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:52   Offensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
6:39   Trent Forrest missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:37   Defensive rebound by Kody Stattmann  
6:13 +2 Mamadi Diakite made layup 44-44
5:52   M.J. Walker missed jump shot  
5:50   Defensive rebound by Virginia  
5:25 +2 Kihei Clark made layup 46-44
5:05   Devin Vassell missed layup  
5:03   Defensive rebound by Mamadi Diakite  
4:31   Braxton Key missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:29   Offensive rebound by Virginia  
4:29   Shot clock violation turnover on Virginia  
4:06   Raiquan Gray missed layup  
4:04   Offensive rebound by Patrick Williams  
3:47   Patrick Williams missed tip-in  
3:47   Offensive rebound by Patrick Williams  
4:02   Patrick Williams missed tip-in  
4:00   Defensive rebound by Kihei Clark  
3:47   Bad pass turnover on Kihei Clark, stolen by Trent Forrest  
3:43   Personal foul on Tomas Woldetensae  
3:39   Devin Vassell missed layup, blocked by Mamadi Diakite  
3:37   Defensive rebound by Tomas Woldetensae  
3:13   Kihei Clark missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:09   Offensive rebound by Mamadi Diakite  
3:11   Personal foul on Anthony Polite  
3:09   Mamadi Diakite missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:11 +1 Mamadi Diakite made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-44
2:54   M.J. Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:50   Defensive rebound by Virginia  
2:36   Braxton Key missed layup, blocked by Trent Forrest  
2:34   Defensive rebound by Trent Forrest  
2:26 +3 Anthony Polite made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Devin Vassell 47-47
1:56   Offensive foul on Kihei Clark  
1:56   Turnover on Kihei Clark  
1:30   Personal foul on Mamadi Diakite  
1:30 +1 Trent Forrest made 1st of 2 free throws 47-48
1:30 +1 Trent Forrest made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-49
1:20   Turnover on Tomas Woldetensae  
1:01   Personal foul on Mamadi Diakite  
1:01   Trent Forrest missed free throw  
1:01   Defensive rebound by Jay Huff  
40.0