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Vassell, Polite power No. 9 Florida State past Virginia 54-50

Defending national champion drops 3 straight games

Florida State guard Anthony Polite and Virginia guard Braxton Key both react to Polite's 3-point shot during the second half of a game in Tallahassee, Florida, Jan. 15, 2020. The Seminoles beat the Cavaliers 54-50.
Florida State guard Anthony Polite and Virginia guard Braxton Key both react to Polite's 3-point shot during the second half of a game in Tallahassee, Florida, Jan. 15, 2020. The Seminoles beat the Cavaliers 54-50. (AP Photo)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Devin Vassell scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws in the final seconds, and No. 9 Florida State won its eighth straight game, 54-50 over Virginia on Wednesday night.

Anthony Polite came off the bench to drill four 3-pointers for the Seminoles (15-2, 5-1 ACC), who have won 15 of their last 16.

Mamadi Diakite scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Virginia (11-5, 3-3), which turned it over 18 times and made just 21 shots from the floor. Tomas Woldetensae was 3 of 4 from 3-point range but the rest of the Cavaliers were 0 for 11 from beyond the arc.

Virginia, the defending national champion, has lost three straight games.

Trent Forrest had five points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals for FSU. The Seminoles had 10 steals and five blocks.