Fresh-legged Florida State dispatched Virginia Tech 74-68 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
For about 30 minutes the Hokies were able to withstand the Seminoles' decisive depth and length advantages. Moreover Tech exploited FSU's poor shot selection and leveraged timely threes (7-15, 46.7% in the first half) to either lead or remain within striking distance for three-quarters of the game.
And now for the frustrating part.
With a 52-50 Tech advantage and 9:37 left in the second half, FSU capitalized on a Hokies' miscue and rode the ensuing momentum to the semifinals. Justin Bibbs floated a lifeless pass up the court, and seconds later, back on defense, Zach LeDay picked up his fourth foul. With LeDay on the bench, FSU dashed out to a 61-52 lead. Ultimately is was part of an 18-1 run for the 'Noles in which the Hokies missed five three-point attempts. That proved to be enough cushion to seal the deal for FSU.
LeDay led all scorers with 22 points and finished one board shy of the double-double. Buzz Williams praised the senior forward's efforts in Brooklyn (31 and 15 against Wake Forest).
"I think it's hard to measure someone's heart, but he (LeDay) plays with incredible fight," Williams said. "For him to do what he's done here over the last two games obviously allowed us to still be here today."
And unlike years past, the somberness of Virginia Tech's ACC Tournament exit is diluted because of what figures to be a fruitful Selection Sunday for the Hokies.
"But that we get to go home and know that we have another opportunity," Williams said. "There will be 68 teams that will be 0-0, and we want to keep playing."