January 10, 2012
Tech drops ACC home opener to FSU
By Jimmy Robertson
Florida State (10-6, 1-1) 303363
Virginia Tech (11-5, 0-2) 213859
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 7,256
  • High Points: 21 - Erick Green
  • High Rebounds: 10 - Dorian Finney-Smith

BLACKSBURG – Florida State’s Okaro White sank two free throws with 5.5 seconds left, and that propelled the Seminoles past Erick Green and the Virginia Tech Hokies 63-59 in an ACC game played Tuesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

With the loss, the Hokies fell to 11-5 overall on the season, 0-2 in ACC play. Tech also lost to Florida State for the fourth time in the past six meetings between the two schools. The Seminoles moved to 10-6, 1-1 in league action.

“I think we’re a good team,” Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said. “I know we’re 0-2. When you play in a good league and play teams that are as physical as that team, you’re going to lose some games.

“We’re going to have another chance to play them, obviously, but there’s a lot of basketball left to be played, and I like our team. I’m disappointed, and we need more guys contributing. But this team is going to be a good team. We’ll just keep working. That’s what this thing is all about.”

Tech never led in this one, but managed to cut the lead to two, 61-59, on two free throws by Green with 1:05 remaining. FSU’s Ian Miller then missed a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left, and the Hokies’ called a timeout with 17 seconds to go.

Coming out of the timeout, Tech got the ball into Green’s hands, and the junior from Winchester, Va., drove down the lane. He faked a shot and then took a short jumper that just rolled off the rim. James got the rebound, and Green fouled him with 5.5 seconds remaining.

“I thought it was going in,” Green said. “But it wasn’t my roll. I’m glad I had the ball in my hands at the end. It was a great look. I thought it was in. I thought when it hit the back, knowing these rims, it would go in, but it didn’t. But I’m going to get another one. I’ll get another chance at it.”

White made both free throws to give the Seminoles a 63-59 lead. Green sprinted down the floor and missed a meaningless lay-up attempt at the buzzer.

Bernard James enjoyed a great night to lead FSU. The 6-foot-10 senior scored 18 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked three shots. Miller added 15 points for the Seminoles.

FSU finished with a season-high 15 blocked shots, tying for the most blocked shots ever by a Tech opponent against the Hokies – the Georgetown Hoyas, featuring then sophomore Dikembe Mutombo and freshman Alonzo Mourning, blocked 15 in a win over the Hokies in 1988. The Seminoles also held the Hokies to a season-low 30.5 percent from the floor.

“That’s who they are,” Greenberg said. “That’s what they do. They protect the front of the rim, and they challenge shots. They’re good at it.”

Green scored 21 of the Hokies’ 59 points, hitting 5 of 14 from the floor and all 10 of his free-throw attempts. Dorian Finney-Smith had nine points and 10 rebounds.

Tech continues ACC play on Saturday when it travels to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for a game against BC. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech men's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MBBall).

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

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