TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Too many mistakes kept No. 16 Virginia from ending its long drought at Florida State on Saturday.
Mike Scott was held to four points and three shots in the second half and Virginia committed 20 turnovers in a 58-55 loss to the No. 21 Seminoles.
"We've got to clean up some of these turnovers and be more efficient to play against a team like this because baskets aren't easy to come by," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "Florida State certainly defends at a high level. They are athletic, they're quick, they're physical. They made us turn it over a lot of the time, but some of that is on us."
Virginia (17-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) rallied late and had a chance to win despite being down by 13 points with 7:31 left.
"They fought to get back to get a chance to win — or a chance to tie it," Bennett said after the Cavaliers lost their sixth straight to Florida State.
"We opened up the court a little more, went with four guards and got some transition buckets," Bennett said. "That got us into it. Shooting is a funny thing: you just never know when you're going to start hitting some."
Scott, Virginia's leading scorer, was held in check in the second half, but finished with 16. Joe Harris also scored 16 points, and Malcolm Brogdon added 10.
Scott missed just twice all game, but didn't get enough good looks to break loose.
"He's tough," said Florida State's Okaro White, who defended Scott for much of the second half. "He's strong, he's tough and loves the mid-range jump shot."
The Seminoles (16-6, 7-1 ACC) can go with three players over 6-foot-10 along with the 6-8 White.
The Cavaliers hit 46.7 percent against Florida State's rangy defense which has been among the nation's leaders in field goal defense over the past three seasons, but were hampered by turnovers.
"The game could've gone either way," a relieved Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "That seems to be the way it goes in this league."
Virginia, which hasn't won in Tallahassee since 2001, gets a chance to snap the losing streak in the series on its home court in Charlottesville on March 1. The Cavaliers' four losses this season are by a total of 10 points.
They almost got it done Saturday in what 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. They trailed 23-22 at halftime.
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.
Virginia returns home to host Wake Forest on Wednesday.