GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Its been a season of firsts for No. 6 Virginia. The Cavaliers are savoring their latest one by sticking around the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament a little while longer than usual. Virginia advanced to the ACC semifinals for the first time since 1995 by pulling away to beat Florida State 64-51 in a quarterfinal Friday. Joe Harris matched a season high with 20 points and Anthony Gill added 16 for the top-seeded Cavaliers (26-6). They shot 48 per cent, forced 15 turnovers and earned their third double-digit victory over the Seminoles this season while winning their 14th in 15 games. "We really just wanted to go out there and prove to everybody that we deserve to be here, we deserve the No. 1 seed," Gill said. Okaro White scored 17 points and Aaron Thomas added 13 for the ninth-seeded Seminoles (19-13). They shot 43 per cent against one of the nations best defences but couldnt keep the Cavaliers off the boards when it counted most, and were denied their third victory over a top-seeded team since 2009. A victory would have gone a long way toward propelling them back into the NCAA tournament. Instead, the Seminoles can only sweat it out until selection Sunday. "Our record speaks for us to be on the bubble, but I think were a great team," White said. "We had a tough time throughout the course of the season, but I think weve shown everyone were a team that should be out there. I think were a team thats up to the level of a lot of the teams that are going to be in the NCAA tournament, but its hard." Virginia established a 31-25 rebounding advantage -- 21-13 in the second half -- and finished with 17 second-chance points. "We talk about outlasting people all the time," freshman London Perrantes said. "We know that nobodys going to want to guard us 35 seconds every time down the court, so we know that if we keep running our offence, theyre going to get frustrated and were going to get good shots." White pulled Florida State to 61-49 with his jumper through contact with 3:25 left. But he missed the free throw and the Seminoles didnt hit another field goal the rest of the way. Virginia will face fifth-seeded Pittsburgh, which beat No. 15 North Carolina 80-75, on Saturday in the first semifinal. Thats unfamiliar territory for a Cavaliers program that hadnt reached the semifinals in nearly two decades -- the longest drought in the conference. In matching a league record with 16 conference victories, Virginia earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament for just the second time and first since 1981. The Cavaliers only tournament title came in 1976 and until Friday they had won only four ACC tournament games since that last semifinal appearance -- and none since 2010. "Weve done a lot of things that we havent done for years," Perrantes said. "So for this to happen for us now is definitely a relieving experience." They led for all but about eight minutes of this one and were in control throughout -- even if it took a while for the scoreboard to finally reflect that. "Its very hard to come back on a team like Virginia when theyre coming down and using 30 seconds of the shot clock," White said. "You cant get down on them." Harris, who matched the season high of 20 points against Hampton on Nov. 26, was 7 of 12 and hit at least half of his shots for the first time since a win against Maryland on Feb. 10. "He has a good feel when to let it come and when to be assertive," ACC coach of the year Tony Bennett said. "He senses. He doesnt get it right all of the time (but) he senses when something is required of him." Virginia pushed its lead into double figures for the first time on Gills free throw with 13:57 left that made it 43-33. Harris bounced in a 3-pointer four possessions later to make it 48-37, Darion Atkins followed that with a jumper and then hit two free throws to make it a 15-point game with 9:51 remaining. Ian Miller finished with 10 points for the Seminoles. Julien Davenport Jersey
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.C. -- Eric Staal kept his focus after his apparent breakaway goal was waived off early in the third period. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The free-fall is over for the Tampa Bay Rays. Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings and the Rays stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Friday night. The skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays first victory since then. "The music is back on in the clubhouse after the game," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Its good to hear the music. Its a good first game to start hopefully getting us back in the right direction." Bedard (3-4) scattered four hits and walked one in ending a three-start losing streak. Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour, who gave up a ninth-inning single, all went one inning to complete a five-hitter. "Its way more fun winning," Bedard said. "We celebrated, and hopefully we do that tomorrow, too." After Jose Molina got his first RBI this season on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly, Tampa Bay went ahead 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI bunt single by Desmond Jennings and Yunel Escobars run-scoring single off Chris Young (5-3). Young gave up three runs, seven hits and five walks over five innings for the Mariners, who had their five-game winning streak snapped. "This is one of those days we didnt play very well on either side of the baseball and those things happen," manager Lloyd McClendon said. The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but failed score when Molina popped out to shortstop Brad Miller. Dating to last season, it was Molinas 100th coonsecutive at-bat, including 87 this year, without an RBI.dddddddddddd Kevin Kiermaier doubled and went to third on a wild pitch in the fourth before Molina ended a stretch of 19 scoreless innings by Seattle pitchers with his sac fly. "I play for the team," Molina said. "I dont play for myself. To help the team to get that run in, and get the win, Im happy with it." Bedard worked out of a second-and-third, no-out jam in the third by striking out Miller, James Jones and Michael Saunders. Saunders left after three innings due to a sore right shoulder. "He hurt it on deck swinging," McClendon said. "Hopefully hell be OK in a day or two." NOTES: The Rays on Saturday will honour the life of senior adviser Don Zimmer, who died Wednesday night at 83. "I got up (on Thursdays off day) and getting ready to go to the track, and I realized Zim was not picking me up," said McClendon, who played on the 1989 Chicago Cubs NL East championship team managed by Zimmer. "Zim and I have been going to the track for the last eight, nine years. Ill miss that. Zim was an institution. He was certainly a mentor to me." ... The Mariners will salute Yankees SS Derek Jeter in a pregame ceremony before Tuesday nights game. Jeter is retiring after this season. ... Tampa Bay RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) and C Ryan Hanigan (hamstring) are scheduled to start minor league rehab assignments Saturday with Class-A Charlotte. Hellickson hopes to be back before the All-Star break, and Hanigan could return next week. ... Seattle LHP James Paxton (left shoulder inflammation) could resume playing catch Monday. Cheap Authentic Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap Authentic Jerseys
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