Isaac McKneely scores 29, Virginia beats Florida State 80-76 for 8th straight win

UVA Athletics Logo on basketball court (University of Virginia)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Isaac McKneely scored a career-high 28 points and Reece Beekman added a career-best 21 Saturday night to help Virginia beat Florida State 80-76 to extend its win streak to eight games.

McKneely made 8 of 12 shots from the field, 5 of 7 from 3-point range, and 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. Jacob Groves scored eight of his 10 points in the second half for Virginia (19-5, 10-3 ACC).

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McKneely and Jordan Minor each made a layup before Jacob Groves hit a jumper to make it 9-4 and Virginia led the rest of the way. The Cavaliers twice opened a double-digit lead in the first half before taking a four-point lead into intermission. They scored 14 of the first 20 second-half points to make it 48-36 on a Beekman layup with 14:19 to play.

Jamir Watkins finished a contested shot in the lane and, moments later, stole the ball and threw down a monstrous two-hand dunk. Chandler Jackson converted a three-point play and, after Beekman missed a 3-point shot, grabbed a rebound and went the other way for a layup, trimming Florida State’s deficit to 54-52 with 8:24 to play.

Groves answered with a 3-pointer 16 seconds later and it was at least a two-possession game until Darin Green Jr.’s three-point play with 11 seconds left made it 77-75. McKneely made 3 of 4 foul shots from there to seal it.

Watkins made 11 of 12 from the free-throw line, hit 5 of 9 from the field and finished with 21 points for Florida State (13-10, 7-5). Jackson scored a career-high 17 on 7-of-9 shooting.

McKneely scored 13 points to help Virginia build a 34-30 lead at the break. Watkins led Florida State with eight points as the Seminoles shot 50% in the first half.

Each team plays on Tuesday. Virginia hosts Pittsburgh while Florida State is on the road against Virginia Tech.