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Feb. 28, 2003


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The Game
Virginia stands at 14-12 overall and 5-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2002-2003. The Cavaliers have lost their last five games and are coming off a 78-72 loss to Ohio (Feb. 26) in Athens, Ohio. Florida State stands at 12-13 overall and 3-11 in the ACC this season. In its last game, the Seminoles lost to 12th-ranked Wake Forest 60-56 (Feb. 26) in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Series vs. Florida State
Virginia holds a 14-9 lead in the series with Florida State, including an 85-72 victory (Jan. 29) in the first meeting of the 2002-2003 season at University Hall. The Cavaliers had their three-game winning streak in the series snapped with a 66-59 loss (Feb. 20) to the Seminoles in Tallahassee last season. UVa won the first game of the 2001-2002 season series 91-74 (Jan. 20) in Charlottesville. Virginia swept the 2000-2001 season series from Florida State for the first time since 1996-97. UVa won the first meeting in the 2000-2001 season, 89-71 (Jan. 16) in Charlottesville. Virginia earned the sweep with a 69-66 victory (Feb. 17) in Tallahassee on a three-pointer by Roger Mason, Jr. with one second remaining.

The Cavaliers have won six of the last eight meetings after FSU won three consecutive contests (71-63 and 88-63 in the 1997-98 season and 72-69 in the 1998-99 campaign).

Despite losing two of the last three games at Florida State, UVa is 6-5 all-time in Tallahassee. Florida State is the only ACC school against which the Cavaliers have a winning road record.

Virginia is looking for its fourth season sweep of the Seminoles. UVa swept the Seminoles in the 1994-95, 1996-97, and 2000-01 seasons. In the 1997-98 season, Florida State swept the season series from the Cavaliers, marking the Seminoles’ only season sweep against Virginia.

Overall in the series, eight of Virginia’s 14 wins over the Seminoles have been by nine points or less, while three of its losses have been by 15 or more points. In addition, five of FSU’s last six wins have been by fewer than nine points. Six of the last nine meetings (dating back to the 1998-99 season) have been decided by seven points or less. The Cavaliers have won three of those six close games.

The only three games that were decided by more than seven points in the last nine meetings were the first meeting of each of the past three seasons – all Virginia victories. In 2000-2001, UVa won by 18 points (89-71); in the first meeting last season, the Cavaliers won by 17 points (91-74); and the first meeting this season, Virginia won by 13 points (85-72).

Earlier This Season Against Florida State
Freshman forward Derrick Byars and sophomore forward Jason Clark combined to score 21 first-half points to help Virginia open up an early lead in the Cavaliers’ 85-72 victory over Florida State (Jan. 29) at University Hall.

Clark scored UVa’s first seven points of the game and equalled his career high with 12 overall and added four rebounds and two steals. Byars came off the bench to score 11 consecutive Cavalier points midway through the first half to turn an 18-14 deficit into a 25-20 lead – a lead Virginia never relinquished. Byars tallied 15 points and two rebounds in the contest.

Senior forward/center Travis Watson led five UVa players in double figure scoring with 20 points and added 16 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. He also had two blocked shots and two assists. Junior guard Todd Billet and sophomore forward Elton Brown both contributed 14 points. Billet also had three assists, while Brown pulled down four rebounds.

Florida State opened up an 18-12 lead with 12:01 remaining in the first half. A dunk by junior center Nick Vander Laan pulled UVa within four and then Byars scored UVa’s next 11 points to put Virginia ahead for good (25-20 with 8:51 to go in the first half).

UVa led 38-28 at the intermission and extended its lead to as many as 18 points (70-52) with 5:29 to play in the game. The Cavaliers’ lead never fell below nine points in the second stanza.

Virginia shot 45.2 percent (28-62) in the game and made 11 of 20 (55.0 percent) three-point field goal attempts. The Seminoles were 27-62 (43.5 percent) from the field. UVa held a 40-32 edge in rebounding as well.

Tim Pickett led Florida State with 21 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Anthony Richardson added 17 points.

Watson Closing in on Offensive Rebound Record
Senior forward/center Travis Watson needs just four more offensive rebounds to set a new school record. Watson has pulled down 359 offensive rebounds in his career. Junior Burrough (1992-95) holds the record with 362 offensive boards. Note – offensive rebounds were not kept prior to the 1986-87 season.

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