No. 12 Virginia Sinks Seminoles In Closing Seconds Saturday
Feb. 17, 2001
By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Virginia coach Pete Gillen is getting used to theselast-second game-winning shots.
“I’ve had more buzzer shots than Davy Crockett at the Alamo,” Gillen saidSaturday after watching sophomore Roger Mason’s last-second 3-point shot liftthe 12th-ranked Cavaliers to a 69-66 victory at Florida State.
“Roger was relaxed, too,” Gillen said. “He’s a big-time player and made abig-time shot.”
The Cavaliers (18-6, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), scored 10 of the final12 points, tying it 66-66 with 25 seconds left on two free throws by Adam Hall.
Florida State (7-18, 2-10) had a chance to put it away in the final 30seconds, but Delvon Arrington got trapped under the basket, forced a bad shotand then fouled Hall.
The Seminoles had another chance with what could have been the game’s finalpossession, but Monte Cummings took another difficult shot with 10 secondsleft.
Mason was a good 4 or 5 feet and wide open behind the 3-point arc when hesank the game-winner after getting a pass from Donald Hand, who had drawn thedefensive coverage with a drive toward the basket.
“I just wanted to get a shot up,” said Mason, a sophomore who said it washis first game-winning basket since high school. “I like to get the ball in myhands with the game on the line.”
And Virginia made sure Mason, who finished with a game-high 19 points, hadit for most of the final three minutes.
He hit a 3-point basket with 2:54 left to pull the Cavaliers within 64-62and tied it at 64-64 on two free throws with 1:49 left. Mason was perfect onfour tries from long range and didn’t miss in five free-throw attempts.
Florida State, which upset No. 17 Maryland on that same night, was trying towin its second straight game over a Top 20 team for the first time since 1993.
“This one was tough,” Florida State coach Steve Robinson said. “So closeto having good things happen. There are no magic words to ease the pain.”
The Seminoles led 34-29 at half and were up again by five, 64-59, onCummings’ dunk off Arrington’s steal with 3:14 left, but managed only a pair offree throws the rest of the way.
“Our defense won the game,” Gillen said. “Florida State outplayed us agreat majority of the game. We were very fortunate.”
Arrington finished with 20 points and a game-high seven assists, butcommitted five turnovers in addition to the critical foul leading to Hall’sfree throws in the final seconds.
Cummings and Michael Joiner were also in double figures, with 12 and 11points respectively for Florida State.