TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Looking for a way to snap their first losing streak of the season — and trying to do so without their leading scorer — the Florida State Seminoles found the cure for their ailing program Wednesday evening: a visit from the ACC’s last-place team, Virginia Tech.
Florida State snapped a three-game skid and rolled to a 70-50 victory at Donald L. Tucker Center behind 24 points from guard Aaron Thomas, who helped send the Hokies to their ninth straight loss.
Florida State improved to 14-8, 5-5 in the ACC.
Cadarian Raines scored 13 points for Virginia Tech (8-14, 1-9).
Hokies guard Will Johnston had the hot hand from 3-point range, going 4-for-6 and scoring 12 points, but the effort wasn’t nearly enough to knock off a determined Florida State squad.
Virginia Tech has been blown out by an average of 15 points during its losing streak. The Hokies fell to a shorthanded Seminoles team that was without star guard and leading scorer Ian Miller (ankle) for the entire game and starting guard Devin Bookert (coach’s decision) for the opening 10 minutes.
Miller, who averages 12.7 points per game, sprained his ankle Saturday in a home loss to Clemson and could also miss Florida State’s next game, Saturday at Maryland.
On Wednesday, however, the Seminoles didn’t need him.
Florida State hadn’t lost consecutive games all year before dropping three straight to Duke, N.C. State and Clemson in a span of seven days, but the Seminoles responded in a big way to the season-low 49 points they put up in their loss to the Tigers. They shot 43 percent Wednesday, including 9-for-16 from 3-point range.
Thomas started blowing the game open by himself at the midway point of the second half. He drilled four straight treys from beyond the arc as part of a 12-2 run that gave the Seminoles a commanding 53-35 lead.
The Hokies, who were without the services of No. 3 scorer Adam Smith (calf) and forward C.J. Barksdale (groin), answered with a slight push to get back into it with under eight minutes remaining.
Johnston drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the game, while Jerrell Eddie finally dropped in his first after going 0-for-5 as Tech sliced FSU’s 18-point lead down to 12 points.
But the Seminoles quickly pushed the margin back to 18 points, ignited by center Boris Bojanovsky’s layup and back-to-back blocks.
Forward Okaro White was the only other Seminole to reach double figures, adding 15 points and eight rebounds. Bookert chipped in seven points and eight rebounds in just 28 minutes.
Virginia Tech finished 5 of 21 from 3-point range and 3 of 9 from the foul line.
Florida State jumped out a 31-20 lead at the break thanks to eight first-half points by Thomas. Florida State closed the opening frame on a 16-5 run.
The charge was led by Bookert, who found Thomas for an alley-oop, buried a jumper and assisted on Thomas’ 3-pointer.
NOTES: This was the only game the teams will play against one another this season. … Seminoles starting PG Devin Bookert, the team’s fifth-leading scorer at 8.3 points per game, did not start for the first time all season. Bookert sat for the first 10 minutes. … The Hokies will cap their short two-game road trip on Saturday, as they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers. Florida State hits the road Saturday to face Maryland.
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