'Noles finding new ways to win games

Not only did Florida State continue its winning ways by disposing of Virginia, but it did so with its two top scorers, Michael Snaer and Bernard James, having trouble putting the ball in the basket.

Another sign of progression for Florida State showed up in the win against Virginia.

Despite off games by guard Michael Snaer (8 points) and forward Bernard James (4), the Seminoles (16-6, 7-1 in ACC) still found a way to knock off No. 17 Virginia in Tallahassee on Saturday and maintain their first-place tie with North Carolina at the midpoint of ACC play.

"We are very fortunate, very proud of our players," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I thought they fought very hard. We didn't play nearly as well as maybe we would have liked, but I think that's one of the positive things about this team."

The Seminoles now have a chance to clinch another winning season in the ACC with a road game at last-place Boston College on Wednesday and at home against Miami on Saturday. This favorable schedule, which does not include a second game with North Carolina, is setting up for the Seminoles to continue making a run at the regular-season title.

But, as Hamilton warned, FSU really hasn't sealed up anything.

"What it says is that we've won seven games, we're playing well to win seven games," Hamilton said with a laugh. "Nobody is going to have anything great happening for them at the end of the season if they only win seven (ACC) games. Our goal is to continue to keep winning, to keep playing. The thing I like about this team is that we still haven't reached our peak yet."


The win also gave the Seminoles their seventh straight conference win, breaking the record set by the 1993 FSU team that featured four eventual first-round draft picks. ...

Florida State forced Virginia G Mike Scott, one the nation's top scorers, into seven turnovers. It's also the number of FSU's school-record winning streak. ...

Virginia hasn't beaten FSU in Tallahassee in 11 years.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3/21 -- Florida State has three wins against Top 25 teams in the last 21 days, including two against top-five teams (Duke and North Carolina). The Seminoles are the only team in the ACC with multiple wins over top-five teams. The seven ACC wins have come against teams that have a combined record of 103-56.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're in the hunt to win a title. It's not like we're just to be hunted. Everyone wants to say that now. We're the hunters. We're still in the hunt. That's how I look at it." -- Florida State G Michael Snaer on the new outlook for the team.

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