TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Looking for a way to snap their first losing streak of the season -- and trying to do so without their leading scorer -- the Florida State Seminoles found the cure Wednesday evening: a visit from the Atlantic Coast Conference's last-place team, the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Florida State snapped a three-game skid and rolled to a 70-50 victory at Donald L. Tucker Center behind 24 points from guard Aaron Thomas.
The Seminoles (14-8, 5-5 ACC) prevailed despite playing without star guard Ian Miller, who has an ankle injury.
The Hokies (8-14, 1-9) suffered their ninth consecutive loss.
Virginia Tech coach James Johnson was the first to admit his team simply had no answer for Thomas.
"Aaron Thomas took the game over tonight," Johnson said of the Seminoles' second-leading scorer, who shot 6-for-8 from 3-point range but fell two points shy of his season-high total. "I thought the zone (we were running against them) was working good for us -- until he took the game over. He was the difference tonight."
Forward Cadarian Raines led Virginia Tech with 13 points. Hokies guard Will Johnston had the hot hand from 3-point range, going 4-for-7 and scoring 12 points, but the effort wasn't nearly enough to knock off the determined Seminoles.
Florida State rebounded from a season-low scoring output of 49 points in Saturday's loss to Clemson. The Seminoles hadn't lost consecutive games all season before dropping three straight to Duke, North Carolina State and Clemson in a span of seven days, but the Seminoles responded in a big way Wednesday, shooting 43.3 percent from the floor, including 9-for-16 from 3-point range.
The Seminoles limited the Hokies to 34.4 percent shooting from the field.
"(A win) sure feels a lot better than a loss," said a visibly relieved Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, who said he wasn't sure if Miller would be able to return for the Seminoles' next game, Saturday at Maryland. "We were extremely aggressive, and our energy was really high tonight. We both were a little short-handed tonight, but I thought Aaron and (forward) Okaro (White) stepped it up and made up for us not having the abilities of Ian."
Thomas said he didn't feel any more pressure to lead the team with Miller out of the lineup.
"I feel like we had to step up as a team," Thomas said. "We really needed this win after that losing streak, so we just tried to come out aggressive on both ends."
Thomas started blowing the game open by himself at the midway point of the second half. He drilled four consecutive 3-pointers as part of a 12-2 run that gave the Seminoles a commanding 53-35 lead.
The Hokies, who were without the services of their No. 3 scorer, guard Adam Smith (calf), and forward C.J. Barksdale (groin), answered with a slight push to get back into it with under eight minutes remaining.
Johnston drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the game, and senior forward and leading scorer Jarell Eddie -- mired in the worst scoring slump of his career -- finally dropped in his first trey after going 0-for-5. Virginia Tech sliced Florida State's 18-point lead down to 12 points.
However, the Seminoles quickly pushed the margin back to 18, ignited by center Boris Bojanovsky's layup and back-to-back blocks.
Aside from Thomas, White was the only Seminole to reach double figures, adding 15 points and eight rebounds. Guard Devin Bookert, who didn't start for the first time all season and was benched for the first 10 minutes of the game (coach's decision), chipped in seven points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes.
Virginia Tech finished 5-for-21 from 3-point range and 3-for-9 from the foul line. The Hokies have been blown out by an average of 15 points during their losing streak.
"It's very tough. A lot of us (come from winning programs), and we're definitely not used to losing," said forward Joey van Zegeren, who was held scoreless in the loss but did pull down a team-high nine rebounds. "We need to keep fighting and working hard every day, and once the next game comes, it's a new day and another opportunity to get that W."
NOTES: F Jarell Eddie, who leads Virginia Tech with an average of 14.2 points per game, finished with just seven points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field ... Florida State jumped out to a 31-20 lead at the break thanks to a 16-5 run to close the first half and eight early points by G Aaron Thomas. ... This was the only time the teams will play against one another in the regular season. ... The Hokies cap their two-game road trip Saturday when they face the Panthers in Pittsburgh.