UVA Handles Florida State in ACC Quarters
By JOEDY McCREARY AP Sports Writer
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Justin Anderson came back for No. 3 Virginia, and Florida State threatened a comeback of its own.
Then Malcolm Brogdon helped the Cavaliers put away the victory.
Brogdon scored all 10 of his points in the final nine minutes of Virginia's 58-44 victory over the Seminoles on Thursday in an Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinal.
"Malcolm is wired to be aggressive, and I want him to be aggressive," coach Tony Bennett said.
Mike Tobey and Evan Nolte had 11 points apiece, with Nolte making three 3-pointers, for the top-seeded and defending tournament champion Cavaliers (29-2).
They never trailed, led by 17 and shot 47.5 percent in earning a return trip to the semifinals.
They also welcomed Anderson from injury. The key guard had missed eight games after breaking his finger and then undergoing an appendectomy.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 13 points to lead the ninth-seeded Seminoles (17-16). They hit just one field goal during the final 7 minutes and were denied their third semifinal appearance since 2009.
"We dug a hole for ourselves," coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Whenever you give a team of that caliber that working margin, obviously, you put yourself in a very difficult situation."
Still, Florida State twice made it a five-point game in the second half, the last coming on Rathan-Mayes' layup with just over 7 minutes remaining.
Tobey countered with a dunk two possessions later, and at the other end Florida State's Montay Brandon was called for an offensive foul that incensed Hamilton - who was hit with a technical foul by official Sean Hull, but later said he didn't think the call affected the outcome.
Brogdon hit both free throws to put the Cavaliers up 48-39 with 5:29 remaining. He then added two more free throws before his jumper with about 2½ minutes remaining put Virginia back up by double figures at 52-42.
That sent the Cavaliers into a Friday semifinal where they will face either No. 14 Louisville or No. 19 North Carolina.
But their most important stat line belonged to Anderson - mainly because, for the first time in a long while, he actually had one.
The junior checked in to applause with 15:22 left in the first half, and he went down hard when his only shot of the half was blocked by Jarquez Smith with about 2:15 remaining. He played three minutes in the second half and did not score, finishing 0 for 2 with two rebounds.
"Of course he looked rusty," Bennett said. "But my hope is the next time he's out there, he's better, and you just kind of have to go through that."
Virginia shot 63 percent in the first half but just 33 percent in the second. ... The Cavaliers held a 31-23 rebounding advantage. ... Virginia, which finished with 14 turnovers, has had at least 13 in three straight games. Just twice in their first 28 games did the Cavaliers have that many giveaways.
The Cavaliers got a scare when ACC defensive player of the year Darion Atkins hurt his right ankle during a collision with Michael Ojo with 16:10 remaining. Atkins walked off with the help of team staffers, had the ankle re-taped and checked back in with 13:10 left.
Florida State: Rathan-Mayes was coming off a 30-point performance in the second round against Clemson in which he became the first freshman in ACC history with three 30-point games in one season.
Virginia: The Cavaliers are 29-2 for the second time in school history, with the only other time coming in 1981-82 with Ralph Sampson.
Florida State: Awaits possible NIT berth.
Virginia: Plays either No. 14 Louisville or No. 19 North Carolina on Friday in the semifinals.
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