Thornton comes alive in second half, lifts Florida St.Jan 18, 2007 - 6:23 AM TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Ticker) -- Al Thornton's gigantic second half made sure that Virginia Tech did not continue its impressive run.
Thornton scored all of his 27 points after intermission as Florida State was able to hold off a second-half charge by the No. 25 Hokies for an 82-73 Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
Snapping a three-game losing streak, the Seminoles (13-5, 1-3 ACC) used a strong first half to grab a 39-23 lead at the break.
However, Virginia Tech (13-5, 3-1), which shocked both Duke and then-No. 1 North Carolina within an eight-day span to move into the national rankings, charged back, closing within 52-51 with 9:35 remaining behind an 11-2 run.
Yet, the Hokies would get no closer as Thornton, the Seminoles' leading scorer, netted his team's next seven points, making it 59-54 on a jumper with 7:29 to go.
Thornton, who was held to just one shot attempt in the first half, added four free throws and hit his only 3-pointer with 4:09 left for a 68-57 advantage.
Although Thornton was held in check, Florida State raced out to a 15-5 start and led by 16 points at the half behind 14 from Toney Douglas.
The lead topped off at 41-23 on the first points by Thornton, a layup just 16 seconds into the second half. However, Virginia Tech answered back with a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 43-35 with 15:24 left.
Combined with their other spurt to get within a point, the Hokies threw together a 28-11 burst over 10 minutes to nearly erase the Seminoles' 18-point lead.
Thornton finished 8-of-14 from the field, 10-of-11 from the stripe and grabbed 13 rebounds.
It was Thornton's third straight game with 20 or more points and eighth on the season. Overall, he stands fifth in the ACC with a 17.5 scoring average.
Douglas chipped in 22 points for Florida State, which snapped its losing streak despite despite being outscored in the paint, 40-26.
Jason Rich had nine points and Isaiah Swann added eight for the Seminoles, who won for just the second time in six meetings with ranked opponents this season.
Zabian Dowdell scored 23 points and Deron Washington 18 for Virginia Tech, which absorbed its eighth loss in its last nine games in the series despite shooting 70.8 percent (17-of-24) after the break.
Coleman Collins added 15 points and Jamon Gordon had eight and seven assists for the Hokies, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
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