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Conwright leads No. 7 Florida State past Virginia, 65-56

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Florida State didn’t let the sting of its first loss in 40 days linger for long.

Maegan Conwright had 12 points and seven assists and shut down red-hot Mikayla Venson in the second half Sunday, leading the seventh-ranked Seminoles to a 65-56 victory against Virginia that was closer than the final score.

The victory came just three days after the Seminoles saw their nine-game winning streak end in a loss at No. 17 North Carolina, and Conwright said the way her team handled adversity at John Paul Jones Arena suggests positive growth.

“I like how we responded coming off of a loss,” the fifth-year senior said. “That’s what we lacked last game. When they went on a run, we didn’t have an answer and we got better today because we did have that answer today.”

It came when Virginia, which had trailed throughout, pulled to within 51-50 with about 7 minutes to play.

First, Ivey Slaughter made a pair of free throws. After a Virginia miss. Brittany Brown hit a 3-pointer. And after turnovers for both teams, Conwright made her fourth 3-pointer of the game, capping an 8-0 run that gave the Seminoles control again.

Adut Bulgak and Slaughter scored 14 each to lead the Seminoles (23-3, 10-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). Brown also scored 12, including a fast-breal layup to restore some cushion for the visitors after Virginia closed to within 59-54.

“This is a huge win for us,” Seminoles coach Sue Semrau said, because of the loss to the Tar Heels.

Virginia (15-10, 5-7) played without scoring leader Faith Randolph (17.6 ppg) because of a right heel injury, but Venson made her absence less painful, especially in the first half. She hit four 3-pointers in a span of 3 1/2 minutes as part of a half-ending 17-10 run, and the Cavaliers went into the locker room trailing just 36-31.

When they closed to within a point, riling up the crowd, some miscommunication after a timeout foiled their plan.

“We had a miscue, I think, on the defensive end,” Cavaliers coach Joanne Boyle said. “We had one person in man and everybody else was in the zone and they got that wide open look at the three.”

Actually, they got two, and two turnovers by Virginia didn’t help.

“We put a lot of energy trying to get back into it and a couple turnovers kind of messed us up,” Venson said.

Aliyah Huland El added 14 points for Virginia.

TIP INS:

Florida State: The Seminoles had won nine straight before losing 71-63 at No. 17 North Carolina in their last game. … The Seminoles outrebounded Virginia 33-21 and had 14 offensive rebounds, but turned them into just five points.

Virginia: The Cavaliers wore pink uniforms, pink socks and pink sneakers in support of breast cancer awareness. … The Seminoles were Virginia’s third consecutive opponent ranked in the top 11. They also played at No. 4 Notre Dame and at home against No. 11 Duke, losing both.

BIG TROUBLE:

Sarah Imovbioh, the Cavaliers’ top rebounder (10.9) and second-leading scorer (13.2), played just 4 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. She played 18 in all and had four points and two rebounds.

UP NEXT:

Florida State plays Clemson on Thursday night.

Virginia plays at Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

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