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Feb. 17, 2007

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -Adrian Joseph scored 17 points and hit two big second-half 3-pointers, leading Virginia to a 73-70 victory Saturday against Florida State and moving the Cavaliers into a first-place tie in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Cavaliers (18-7, 9-3) are tied with No. 21 Boston College, which was hosting No. 4 North Carolina in a night game. Virginia began the day tied with the Tar Heels and Virginia Tech for second. The Hokies play at North Carolina State on Sunday.

Florida State (17-10, 5-8) lost its fourth in a row and for the first time in its last four games against the Cavaliers despite 30 points and 16 rebounds by Al Thornton.

Joseph was a big reason why, providing the third scoring option Virginia has sorely needed in many of its losses. He hit his fourth 3-pointer with 6:18 left, giving Virginia a 61-57 lead, then hit his fifth with 4:07 to play, making it 65-60.

Each time, baskets by Thornton had cut into Virginia’s lead.

Joseph’s last 3-pointer sparked a 7-2 run that all but sealed it.

Sean Singletary missed 15 of 21 shots, but had 19 points, six rebounds and six assists for Virginia, and J.R. Reynolds scored 17 with eight rebounds and six assists.

The Cavaliers seemed poised to pull away when Singletary scored eight quick points in the second half and Virginia took a 44-32 lead, but Florida State always rallied.

Thornton’s dunk started a 13-2 run that pulled the Seminoles within 46-45, and when the Cavaliers went back ahead 57-51, he scored on a baby hook and a putback in a 6-2 spurt that again got them within 58-57 with 6:32 left, but Joseph answered twice.

Isaiah Swann added 13 points for Florida State.

Virginia never trailed after its first basket and led 34-28 at halftime after closing the half with an 8-2 run. Joseph and Singletary had 3-pointers in the burst.

Joseph finished 5-for-7 on 3-pointers, and Virginia was 12-for-26.

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