ACC Basketball Recap: Tuesday Night Conference Action

Florida State 86 Virginia Tech 75

An impressive shooting night propelled Florida State to its first ACC win of the season Tuesday night in an 86-75 home victory over Virginia Tech.

Both teams put on an incredible shooting exhibition in the first half with Florida State (9-6, 1-1) making 73.1% from the field while the Hokies (8-7, 0-2) made 51.9%. The Seminoles came into the game 14th out of 15 ACC teams in 3-point shooting, but found their stroke against the Hokies.

Both teams cooled off in the second half, the Seminoles less so as they still finished draining 51.9% from the field and 50% from 3-point range. Freshman guard Xavier Ratan-Mayes led the way for FSU with 22 points, three assists and two rebounds. Devon Bookert added 16 points making 4-of-7 3-pointers.

The Hokies were once again led by freshman Justin Bibbs who posted a career and game-high 25 points, three rebounds and two assists. It’s the second consecutive game that Bibbs has set a career-high, both against ACC competition. Adam Smith added 24 points and four rebounds.

In what will be a familiar storyline this season, Tech was severely undersized against the Seminoles. Florida State used its trio of seven-footers as well as other bigger, more mature bodies to outrebound the Hokies 42-22. That includes 15 offensive rebounds for FSU to just eight for the Hokies.

Florida State now travels to Syracuse Sunday while Virginia Tech has a full week off before heading to No. 5 Louisville.

Game Notes

  • The ‘Noles shot 70% (7-10) from outside the arc in the first half while the Hokies made 61.5% (8-15). Tech posted an offensive efficiency rating of 138.9, which is good until you realize FSU was at 161.6.
  • Virginia Tech is now 0-8 playing in Tallahassee as a member of the ACC and just 5-18 all-time.
  • FSU reserve guard Robbie Berwick scored 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, more than quadrupling his season averages of 2.6 PPG and 1.2 RPG.
  • The Seminole bench as a whole outscored Virginia Tech’s 28-15
  • The Hokies had plenty of chances to close the gap in the second half but they went cold during scoring lulls for the ‘Noles. Tech could rarely get the margin closer then 10 points thanks to settling for outside shots and leaving with empty possessions.
  • Tech freshman Justin Bibbs played 38 minutes after playing 39 against Syracuse Saturday and appeared to lose something on his jump shot and free throws late in the game. Managing his minutes will be an issue for Buzz Williams in ACC play.

Pittsburgh 61 Boston College 60

The nightcap was a stark contrast to the uptempo Tech-FSU game. After 40 minutes the game was tied at 53 and after a back-and-forth overtime, Pittsburgh escaped Chestnut Hill with a 61-60 win over Boston College.

Pittsburgh (11-4, 1-1) made a furious rally late in the game going on a 12-2 run to tie BC with 31.2 seconds left. With just over a minute remaining, BC’s Dennis Clifford blocked a layup attempt but Pitt maintained possession and Sheldon Jeter scored two. The Eagles (7-6, 0-2) turned it over on the ensuing inbounds play and after getting fouled, Jeter made two free throws. Yet another turnover on the inbounds play allowed guard Josh Newkirk to tie the game with a layup. The game went to overtime after BC missed two chances in close on the final possession of regulation.

30 of Pittsburgh’s 61 points came off the bench. Sheldon Jeter scored 11 with eight rebounds and Josh Newkirk had 15 points and seven assists including the game-tying bucket at the end of regulation as well as the game-winning score in overtime.

Panthers’ leading scorer and rebounder Michael Young continued his solid play to help Pitt avoid starting conference play 0-2.

Olivier Hanlan had another strong game to lead Boston College with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a game-high 43 minutes. Aaron Brown added 11 points.

Pitt returns home to host Clemson Saturday at 12 p.m. while Boston College plays at Miami Saturday at 4 p.m.

Game Notes

  • Pittsburgh has now won eight consecutive games against the Eagles and 12 of the last 13. The Panthers also improve to 11-4 in games at BC’s Conte Forum.
  • Pitt’s depth clearly showed in this game as bench players logged 84 minutes to the Eagles’ 46, and outscored BC’s subs 30-13.
  • The victory marks career win number 299 for Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon. He’ll win his 300th game in just his 12th season, good for third fastest all-time. He has an overall mark of 299-100.
  • BC’s Olivier Hanlan is now just two points from moving into 20th place on the all-time scoring list at Boston College. He’s currently the ACC’s second active leader in career scoring behind Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant.

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