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College basketball

Pickett leads FSU in easy win over Virginia Tech 76-69

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2003


BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Tim Pickett scored 22 and reserve Michael Joiner added 16 as Florida State beat Virginia Tech 76-69 on Saturday, putting a serious crimp in the Hokies' confidence as they prepare to begin Big East Conference play.

Terry Taylor said Virginia Tech isn't ready for the rugged Big East.

"We would like to have some more wins," Taylor said. "We're just going to have to take what we've got and go with it. This year's team is a great group of guys. We just need to play hard, do it for 40 minutes a game. That's all you can ask, win or lose."

Florida State (8-3) never let it happen. The Seminoles never trailed and led by 69-53 after Pickett made a layup with 8:13 remaining, and dropped the Hokies to 6-6.

The Hokies' losses include games against William & Mary, Wofford and Western Michigan, and the latest one was another example of a frustrating pattern of failure that is sure to haunt them as they prepare to play Villanova on Wednesday night.

"We feel that we can do a lot of things, if we take our time and execute our game plan," Bryant Matthews said. "Six and six is nothing to be proud of, but you have to try and look at some positives instead of negatives."

Nonetheless, in what has become a trend, the Hokies got in trouble with poor play, then rebounded to get back in the game, but didn't do enough to win.

Florida State shot 63 percent in the first half, and used a 15-2 run that included five straight points by Trevor Harvey to open a 31-16 lead with fewer that eight minutes left.

The Hokies shot just 36 percent overall and were led by Terry Taylor with 17 points, Matthews with 15 and Carlos Dixon and Brian Chase with 13 apiece.

The Seminoles pushed their lead to as much as 19 and led 47-31 at the half, which enabled them to overcome 27 percent shooting in the second 20 minutes.

"In the second half, I thought we did some good things coming back," said Hokies coach Ricky Stokes, 40-58 in three-plus seasons. "Offensively, I thought we had more patience. We couldn't get that extra bounce, that rebound we needed."

Anthony Richardson added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Seminoles.

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