Late three keeps FSU from beating its second straight ranked team.
By ALEX ABRAMS
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001
TALLAHASSEE -- Virginia should be used to last-second heroics.
Three days after defeating No. 3 Duke on a basket with 0.9 seconds left by small forward Adam Hall, the No. 12 Cavaliers pulled out a 69-66 win Saturday over Florida State when point guard Roger Mason made a three-pointer with one second remaining.
Mason partially blocked a possible winning shot by FSU's Monte Cummings with 10 seconds left, then hustled down the court and launched the open three-pointer.
"(Shooting guard) Donald (Hand) penetrated inside and the defense collapsed on him," Mason said. "He kicked it out to me. It felt good when it left my hands, and I just netted it."
Mason made 5 of 11 shots, including all four three-point attempts, for a game-high 19 points.
With the score tied at 66, Cummings drove to the basket and attempted a difficult jumper rather than passing to an open teammate. The shot was deflected by Mason, and Hall grabbed the rebound.
"Coach always tells me, "When in doubt, go to the rack,' " Cummings said. "Go to the basket, get a good shot. The closer you are to the basket, the higher the percentage of the shot."
FSU coach Steve Robinson said he would have to watch the game footage to see whether Cummings shot with too much time left.
"Monte is a guy that's got ability to get the ball to the basket," Robinson said. "I think he saw a hole and thought it was an opportunity for him to be able to take the ball to the basket. He tried to get there."
The Seminoles (7-8, 2-10 ACC) took a 64-59 lead with 3:14 remaining when point guard Delvon Arrington tossed a long pass to Cummings for an easy dunk. The team scored two more points and missed its final five shots.
Mason hit a three-pointer, then two free throws to tie the score at 64 with 1:49 left. The junior scored eight of Virginia's final 10 points.
Cavalier power forward Chris Williams had 15 points and seven rebounds, and center Travis Watson added 14 and seven rebounds.
In the first half, FSU appeared determined to upset its second ranked opponent in a week following Wednesday's 74-71 shocker over No. 17 Maryland. The team hustled after loose balls and converted easy baskets, resulting in a 13-2 run to open the game.
FSU, however, failed to take advantage of Virginia's 34 percent shooting in the first half (45 percent for the game) and 16 turnovers. The Seminoles struggled in the second half, making 11 of 27 shots (41 percent).
"We're very fortunate to win this game," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said. "I thought Florida State outplayed us for a great majority of the game."
Arrington scored 20 on 8-for-11 shooting and added seven assists. Cummings added 12 points off the bench.
The Cavaliers, who lead the ACC with a plus-6.1 rebounding margin, outrebounded the Seminoles 35-25.