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Florida State on the rise as Virginia Tech comes to town

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Florida State opened the 2024 portion of its season with a solid conference victory.

Virginia Tech will try to do the same while denying the Seminoles a chance at another when they take on Florida State on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Hokies (9-4, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) couldn’t have picked a worse way to end 2023, suffering a blowout loss at Wake Forest last Saturday.

It wasn’t just the lopsided, 86-63 final score that made things bad for Virginia Tech. It was the way the Hokies were completely outplayed during the first half in what was their worst ACC loss since a 24-point defeat against Duke on Feb. 22, 2020.

Virginia Tech’s four-game winning streak ended with a thud as it turned the ball over 19 times, including 12 giveaways in the first half — its second-highest output of the season thanks in large part to Wake Forest’s full-court pressure.

Hunter Cattoor led the Hokies with 14 points, but he was held to 1-for-3 shooting from 3-point range and Virginia Tech made just five triples overall.

“When you get your ass beat by 20 in the first, no consolation prizes for going toe to toe with anybody in the second half,” Hokies coach Mike Young said after the game.

Florida State (7-6, 1-1) won for the third time in its past four games and found the formula that has worked so long for coach Leonard Hamilton’s most successful teams — scoring balance and depth — during an 82-71 home victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

All 12 Seminoles that played scored, and their bench combined for 42 points.

Chandler Jackson’s 14 points led four players who scored in double figures for FSU. Jackson, who dealt with multiple injuries last season and a suspension over the summer, has given the Seminoles added firepower on the offensive end.

“I challenged him and told him I wanted him to be much more aggressive,” Hamilton said. “We think he has the ability to attack the basket and he’s responded.”

Florida State has won 12 of its past 13 against Virginia Tech in Tallahassee.

–Field Level Media

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