"I said at the beginning of the year that I think that the league is set up now where you can't tell what's going to happen from night to night," he said. "Any time you play a team in the ACC, you have to be prepared to play for 40 minutes."
And it was those sentiments that rang true in a hard fought 74-68
victory by the Seminoles (10-2, 1-1 ACC) over visitng Virginia Tech
(10-5, 0-2 ACC) Saturday night in a game that ended with a strong
showing in the final minute by the home squad.
Trailing by eight points with just over five minutes remaining, the
Hokies managed to do exactly what they had made a habit of doing the
entire game, cutting an FSU lead to just a basket.
After Hokies guard Zabian Dowdell knocked down two free throws to cut
the Garnet and Gold lead to 68-66 with less than a minute remaining,
Virginia Tech sent FSU sophomore guard Isaiah Swann to the line where
the Maryland native promptly converted on both of his foul shots.
Tech answered, however, as forward Coleman Collins dunk with 26
seconds remaining cut the Seminole lead to just a basket once more.
This time, it was sophomore guard Ralph Mims who was sent to the line
and, just as his teammate had done a few seconds earlier, he too
converted both attempts to push the FSU lead back to four points.
"I felt confident," said Mims, who has been the Tribe's most reliable
free throw shooter this season.
Forward Andrew Wilson then iced the game for the Seminoles with two
successful free throws with just six seconds left to play. The
sixth-year senior accomplished this feat after stealing the ball from
Hokies leading scorer Wynton Withserspoon, who notched 19 points in
the losing effort, on the previous possession.
For the game, the Tribe was 80 percent from the foul line after
shooting 53 percent from the charity stripe earlier in the week in the
sloppy conference-opening loss to Clemson in South Carolina.
"This was a very hard fought game by both teams tonight," Hamilton
said. "I thought that we were able to protect the ball and hit our
free throws and rebound down the stretch and I thought that was the
biggest difference in the game."
Forward Al Thornton led the way for the Seminoles, who never trailed
in the game. The third-year swingman posted his fifth double-double of
the season with game highs in points (21) and rebounds (12).
The strong play by the Georgia native was enough to garner praise from
Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg.
"He's a (power forward) with a (small forward) skill set," he said.
"He's got a very good feel for getting to the 50-50 balls."
The Seminoles took a 34-26 lead into the halftime break after leading
by 14 with 7:29 left in the fist half.
Junior forward Alexander Johnson contributed with 10 points, six
rebounds and three steals while Wilson added 14 points of his own.
FSU now hits the road for a two-game swing with matchups against
Virginia Wednesday and Boston College Saturday. The Tribe welcomes the
defending national champion North Carolina Tarheels to the Donald L.
Tucker Center Jan. 22.
Noles Fend Off Visiting Hokies
Nole Digest Top Stories
ACC Football Roundup: Week 5 Top StoriesAll you need to know about ACC teams leading into Week Five of the college football season.
ScoutYesterday at 12:21 PM
Updated Scout 300 Trend Meter For 2017The updated Scout 300 Trend Meter for the 2017 class takes a look at which schools are trending for each uncommitted member in the Scout 300.
Scout FootballMonday at 11:15 AM
No. 1 DT Trying to Chop Down Recruiting ListWith scholarship offers from coast-to-coast Scout five-star and No. 1 rated defensive tackle Marvin Wilson is trying to find that right combination for his final three official…