Evan Nolte and Mike Tobey each provided some much-needed offense with 11 points apiece as top-seeded Virginia outlasted Florida State 58-44 in the quarterfinals Thursday of the ACC tournament.
The third-ranked Cavaliers (29-2), who ran out to a 17-point halftime lead, saw that advantage shrink to five points on two occasions in the second half against Florida State (17-16).
Virginia will play fifth-seeded North Carolina in Friday's 7 p.m. semifinal as the Cavaliers try to capture their second consecutive ACC tournament title.
Foul trouble and an ankle injury to Darion Atkins limited the Cavaliers in terms of personnel, and freshman guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes led the Seminoles with 13 points, despite 6-of-18 shooting.
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Malcolm Brogdon, who scored all 10 of his points in the final nine minutes, made all six of his free-throw attempts down the stretch to keep the Seminoles at bay. Brogdon got in early foul trouble and played only seven minutes of the first half.
Virginia hit its first five shots and four free throws to race to a 16-2 lead before the game was 5 minutes old.
The Cavaliers played their customary suffocating style of defense in the first half, limiting the Seminoles to 29 percent shooting. FSU made only two of its last 13 attempts from the floor as Virginia opened up a 34-17 halftime advantage, the 11th time this season the Cavaliers have held their opponent under 20 points in the first half. It was the 15th time Virginia has held an opponent under 50 points, all victories for the Cavaliers.
Virginia also shot a blistering 63 percent from the field, and it was accomplished without a point from All-ACC guard Malcolm Brogdon, who went to the bench with two early fouls and played only seven minutes.
Brogdon had been the lead defender on Rathan-Mayes, but freshman Marial Shayok took over that duty and helped hold Rathan-Mayes to 2-of-8 shooting in the half.
The only other concern in the first half for the Cavaliers was a spill that Justin Anderson took after his driving layup was blocked by Jarquez Smith with 2:15 left in the half. Anderson, who had missed eight games after suffering a fractured left pinkie finger – and then having an appendectomy last week – landed hard under the basket and left the game. However, he returned two minutes later.
Foul trouble became a problem in the second half, when Anthony Gill and Brogdon each picked up their third fouls in a 52-second span. Compounding the problem, Darion Atkins injured his right ankle on Brogdon's play and also went to the bench before the first TV timeout of the second half.