With offensive consistency and 2007 Lowe's Senior Class Award nominee Al Thornton's second-half rally, the Seminoles sailed past No.23 Virginia Tech 82-73 in the Donald L. Tucker center Wednesday night.
It was the team's first victory in the Atlantic Coast Conference after dropping their first three.
Thornton, who was held scoreless in the entire first half, came alive in the second, notching 27 points and 13 rebounds for FSU (13-5 Overall, 1-3 ACC).
"The second half, obviously he had a big impact on the game," FSU Coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Each time they threatened he made a big play. I thought our players did a very good job of getting the ball to him."
Toney Douglas nabbed 22 points in the contest, shooting 9-of-11 from the charity stripe and helped guide a Seminoles team that never trailed.
"In the first half Virginia Tech doubled him (Thornton), so I had to step it up," said Douglas, who had 14 first-half points.
In the last few minutes of the game, Thornton could possibly be credited with shutting the door on any Hokie comeback. With the Hokies threatening and making a run, he connected on a miraculous 38-foot shot with two seconds left on the shot clock, sending the 8,360 fans in attendance into a frenzy.
"You know, I really thought I was going to shoot an air ball," Thornton said. "I thought it was going to be off … way off."
The victory was bigger than just Virginia Tech (13-5, 3-1) to the Tribe since the visiting squad defeated national caliber teams such as Duke and North Carolina.
"This is one of those games that it was very important to us to say the least," Hamilton said. "It was a game that we felt that we have to be at our very best mentally and emotionally."
The first half of play for the home squad left Thornton pointless with Douglas pacing the team through a steady lead with 14 points. Rich followed notching seven.
The Tribe shot 58 percent from the field and 93 percent from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes.
The Seminoles were 13-14 in three-pointers, showing more offensive consistency this contest than in previous matchups.
The 'Noles face conference opponent Miami in the Donald L. Tucker center Saturday at 2 p.m.
"We can't celebrate too long," Hamilton said. "We have to turn our attention to Miami."
FSU gets first ACC win, defeats Virginia Tech
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