TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Reserve Okaro White scored 13 points and Xavier Gibson added 10 points Saturday as No. 21 Florida State held off 16th-ranked Virginia 58-55 to keep a share of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with its seventh straight league victory.
Virginia (17-4, 4-3) climbed back from a 13-point second-half deficit, but Jontel Evans' desperation 30-footer didn't get off in time before the final buzzer — it bounced off the rim anyway. Virginia's four losses this season have come by a total of 10 points.
Mike Scott and Joe Harris led the Cavaliers with 16 points apiece. Scott also had a game-high 11 rebounds.
It's the first time that Florida State (16-6, 7-1) has won seven straight games in ACC play since joining the league in 1991-92.
Virginia got the ball back with 34 seconds left and down three, but Harris missed a 3 and Deividas Dulkys was fouled on the rebound and sank the first of two shots to give Florida State a 56-52 lead with 14 seconds left.
Jeff Peterson added two free throws with seven seconds left to make it 58-52, but Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon countered with a 3 to make it 58-55.
For a while in the second half it looked like the Seminoles would pull away.
But Virginia climbed back into the game with a 14-0 run capped by Evans layup off a steal that gave the Cavaliers 45-44 lead with 4:41 left after Florida State had opened a 13-point advantage twice earlier.
Michael Snaer's first basket of the game, a 3-pointer from the corner, put the Seminoles back into the lead at 47-45 and Luke Loucks followed with a driving layup seconds later to make it 49-45. Snaer added another 3 and a layup down the stretch and finished with eight points.
It was a defensive battle from the opening tip with Scott and Harris combining for Virginia's first 17 points before Sammy Zeglinski's 3 got the Cavaliers to within 21-20 with 3:26 left in the half.
Scott hit four straight free throws in a 10-second span to tie the score at 17 after a flagrant foul was called on Florida State's Xavier Gibson.
Florida State, which led 23-22 at halftime, had its biggest lead in the first half at 17-10.
The Seminoles have now won six straight over Virginia, which hasn't won in the series since the 2007 and is winless in Tallahassee since 2001.
Florida State visits Boston College on Wednesday before returning home for a two-game home stand starting with Miami on Feb. 11. Virginia returns home to host Wake Forest on Wednesday.