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March 4, 2005

Charlottesville, Va. –

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The Game
Virginia enters today’s regular season finale with a 13-13 overall record and a 4-11 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers have lost their last four games and are coming off an 82-72 loss to NC State (Mar. 2) in Charlottesville.

Florida State stands at 11-18 overall and 3-12 in the ACC. The Seminoles have lost their last nine games and are coming off a 91-76 loss to second-ranked North Carolina (Mar. 3) in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Series vs. Florida State
Virginia holds a 16-11 lead in the series with Florida State, including a 56-55 win (Feb. 9) in the first meeting of the 2004-05 season on Devin Smith’s three-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining.

The two teams split a pair of meetings last season with both teams winning on their home courts for the third consecutive year. UVa won 76-67 in overtime (Jan. 18) in the first meeting in Charlottesville, while the Seminoles won 76-57 (Feb. 17) in Tallahassee. The home team has won each of the last seven games.

The two teams split the 2002-03 series with UVa winning 85-72 (Jan. 29) in the first meeting at University Hall. The Seminoles took the second meeting 73-59 (Mar. 1) in Tallahassee. Both teams also won on their home courts in the 2001-02 season. Virginia won 91-74 at home (Jan. 20) and Florida State won 66-59 (Feb. 20) in Florida.

Virginia swept the 2000-01 season series from Florida State for the first time since 1996-97. UVa won 89-71 (Jan. 16) in Charlottesville and earned the sweep with a 69-66 victory (Feb. 17) in Tallahassee on a three-pointer by Roger Mason, Jr. with one second remaining.

UVa has won the first meeting of the season series with Florida State 11 times in 14 tries, including the last six.

The Cavaliers have won eight of the last 12 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).

UVa is 6-7 all-time in Tallahassee despite losing the last three games and four of the last five contests at Florida State. UVa’s 69-66 win in the 2000-01 season is its last victory in Tallahassee. Virginia has lost the last two games at Florida State by an average of 16.5 points per game. In its last three trips to Tallahassee, UVa has failed to score 60 points – 59 in 2002 and 2003, and 57 in 2004.

Overall in the series, 10 of UVa’s 16 wins over the Seminoles have been by nine points or less, while five of its losses have been by 14 or more points. In addition, five of FSU’s last eight wins have been by fewer than nine points. Seven of the last 13 meetings (dating back to the 1998-99 season) have been decided by seven points or less. The Cavaliers have won four of those seven close games.

Earlier This Season vs. Florida State
It’s not how long you are winning that counts; it’s when you are winning that matters most. Virginia led only once against Florida State (Feb. 9), but that one time came with 5.2 seconds left when Devin Smith drained a three-pointer to lift the Cavaliers to a 56-55 victory at University Hall.

Virginia held the Seminoles without a field goal in the final eight minutes of the game as FSU went 0-7 from the field after Von Wafer made a three-pointer with 8:07 to play. The Seminoles made their last six free throws, but were held scoreless for the final 3:54 of the game after Wafer made a pair of free throws to stake Florida State to a 55-50 lead.

An acrobatic fastbreak layup by J.R. Reynolds with 3:04 to go brought UVa within three, 55-52. Smith made the first of two free throws with 2:13 left to make the score 55-53. A Seminole turnover with 31 seconds on the clock gave the ball back to UVa. Sean Singletary’s three with seven seconds remaining missed and Reynolds grabbed the offensive rebound and fed Smith for the game-winning three-pointer with 5.2 ticks to play. Wafer’s desperation three at the final buzzer was off target.

Florida State led by as many as 10 points in the first half and took a 31-23 halftime advantage. The Seminoles increased their lead to 14, 41-27, with 14:39 to play in the game. The Cavaliers slowly chipped away at the deficit and pulled within three, 53-50, on a Smith three-pointer with 4:22 remaining. Wafer’s two free throws 28 seconds later proved to be FSU’s final points of the game.

Elton Brown led UVa with 13 points and six rebounds, while Reynolds had 12 points and Smith added 11. Smith scored his 1,000th career point on a driving layup with 20 seconds to play in the first half.

UVa shot 40.4 percent (21-52) from the field in the game, while the Seminoles shot 44.2 percent (19-43) from the floor. The Seminoles held a slight 30-29 edge in rebounds, but committed 15 turnovers to Virginia’s 10.

Wafer was the only Florida State player to reach double figures in scoring as he had a game-high 16 points.

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