The Daily Nole

Mann Hits Winner as FSU Nips Virginia Tech in OT to Advance to ACC Semis

Jeremy Esbrandt/D'Vel Photography/FSU athletics

Florida State has an ACC Tournament date with top-seeded Virginia after an improbable 65-63 overtime victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday afternoon in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Charlotte.

FSU’s Terance Mann put the finishing touches on Thursday’s win with a circus shot that rolled around and down with less than two seconds to play in overtime. It was the second overtime victory over the Hokies (24-8) in nine days.

Unlike last week when Virginia Tech led by 14 points at halftime, it was fourth-seeded Florida State who started strong. The Seminoles used a 13-0 run to take an early 17-4 lead. That lead was trimmed to two at 26-24 at halftime, but the Seminoles (26-6) never trailed until a dunk by Kerry Blackshear with 1:17 to go gave fifth-seeded Virginia Tech a 54-53 lead.

Blackshear had a chance to put FSU away late in regulation by drawing a foul and scoring with 19 seconds remaining, but missed the ensuing free throw with a 56-53 lead. As Ahmed Hill did for Virginia Tech in last week’s game, FSU freshman Devin Vassell forced overtime with a 3-pointer — one of his four triples — with four seconds remaining.

After trading baskets in the extra period, Virginia Tech went up 63-60 on a trey by Nickeil Alexander-Walker that hit the front of the rim and bounced in with less than two minutes remaining. Phil Cofer answered for the Seminoles with a 3 of his own on the other end.

Alexander-Walker missed a chance to put Virginia Tech ahead with less than 20 seconds to go and M.J. Walker grabbed the FSU rebound. The Seminoles seemed to lack a sense of urgency on their final possession, forcing Mann to take an unbalanced shot that ultimately fell in. Alexander-Walker missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.

Virginia Tech shot 44 percent to 39 percent for FSU, but went just 4-for-19 from distance. FSU was 12-for-31 from deep. The Seminoles also had a better day from the free throw line (9-for-11 to 7-for-13) and held a 42-30 rebounding edge.

Alexander-Walker led all scorers with 21 points while Blackshear and Hill added 17 points and 16 points, respectively. Blackshear tied a game-high nine rebounds in the loss.

Vassell led the Seminoles with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 4 of 7 from deep. Mann added 10 points and nine rebounds in the win. Cofer scored nine points and shot 3 of 5 from distance.

FSU moves on to face Virginia in the ACC semifinals. The Cavaliers beat NC State earlier Thursday afternoon, 76-56. They beat FSU in Charlottesville during the regular season, 65-52.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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