Virginia Tech played a terrible first half defensively, then settled down in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Hokies fell to Florida State on the road 86-75 on Tuesday night. Tech is now 8-7 on the season and 0-2 in the ACC, while FSU improved to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Both teams were lights out in the first half as Florida State took a 53-45 lead into the intermission. The ‘Noles shot 73.1% in the first half to Tech’s 51.9%. The Seminoles made seven first half three-pointers, which tied their season-high for a game this year. The Hokies were 51.9% in the first half, but the second half percentages (32.3% for Tech and 30.8% for FSU) evened out, and the Seminoles went on to win.
Tech was outsized by FSU, who played three post players who were 7-0 or taller. The Hokies were outrebounded 42-22, though they only gave up seven second chance points. However, they couldn’t keep freshman guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes from getting to the glass. Rathan-Mayes scored 22 points in 37 minutes. Florida State was 8-of-16 from three point range despite coming into the game shooting 25.7% from the outside.
After tying his career-high with 22 points against Syracuse, freshman wing Justin Bibbs set a new career-high with 25 points against Florida State. He was 8-of-17 from the field, 4-of-9 from three-point range, and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. He is averaging 23.5 points per game in ACC play while shooting 48.4% from the field and 47.1% from the outside.
Adam Smith added 24 points on 8-of-18 from the field and 5-of-10 from three-point range. Tech had 14 assists and turned the ball over just six times. However, their lack of defense against a very mediocre offensive team was their ultimate undoing.
The Hokies return to action next Tuesday when they play at #5 Louisville. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm, and the game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings.