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Seminoles halt Hokies’ run, advance to ACC semifinals
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Shakayla Thomas scored 17 points and No. 7 Florida State routed Virginia Tech 82-43 in an Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinal.
Maegan Conwright and Leticia Romero added 11 apiece for the second-seeded Seminoles (28-3), who have won six straight and 15 of 16.
They never trailed, shot 58 percent, built a double-figure lead before the Hokies managed their first field goal and moved within one victory of matching the school’s single-season record.
Vanessa Panousis had nine points to lead 15th-seeded Virginia Tech (11-20), which was trying to win its third game in three nights.
The Hokies shot just 28 percent and had 17 turnovers.
Kai James added 11 points for Florida State, which will play either No. 15 North Carolina or No. 10 Louisville in a semifinal Saturday — just the fourth time the Seminoles have reached the semifinals.
They’re one win from equaling the program record of 29 wins set by the 2009-10 team that advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals.
It marked the latest step forward for a program that began the year unranked but steadily climbed up the national polls during what’s arguably the best season in school history.
Thomas won the league’s sixth player of the year award and Sue Semrau was selected as the ACC’s coach of the year after helping Florida State match its best ACC tournament seed.
It didn’t take long for the rested Seminoles, playing in their ACC tournament opener, to end Virginia Tech’s hopes for a third straight upset in Greensboro — where the Hokies beat more ACC teams in a 24-hour span (two) than they did all season (one).
This one was all Seminoles.
Florida State needed less than 5 minutes to take a double-figure lead while holding Virginia Tech to one field goal in the first 9½ minutes. Shakena Richardson’s fast-break layup with 6:15 left gave the Seminoles a 20-point lead for the first time at 30-9 and they kept pulling away from there.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies made some history this year. Until now, no last-seeded team had won multiple games at the ACC tournament.
Florida State: The Seminoles won their ACC tournament opener for the third straight year.