clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FSU Women Drop One In Tempe

(#22) Arizona State gets revenge against (#10) FSU beating the Seminoles 68-56.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Game Recap

Arizona State (8-3) was looking forward to this game. Florida State (9-3) ended their season last year in the Sweet 16 beating the Sun Devils 66-65. The Sun Devils admitted that they circled this date on their schedule and they were able to get their revenge on the Seminoles beating FSU 68-56.

The game started out well for FSU. The Noles jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the strength of three pointers from Emiah Bingley and Brittany Brown. Arizona State started out slow and had trouble making shots. A Quinn Dornstauder layup was their only made field goal of the first quarter. They left the Noles with an opportunity to really grow a healthy lead but FSU could never really pull away taking a relatively slim 12-6 lead into the second quarter.

Even though the Noles led after the first quarter there were clearly storm clouds brewing for FSU. The Seminoles were beginning to get into foul trouble. ASU was also able to get good shots but they were missing.

The Sun Devils rebounded to begin the second quarter making three of their first four shots to cut the Seminole lead to two. ASU started the game playing tight man defense and they continued that into the second quarter. They clearly had a strategy to try to make life as difficult as possible for Nole point guard Leticia Romero. Offensively, the Sun Devils were led by reserve guard Arnecia Hawkins. Hawkins was ASU's leading scorer scoring 23 points for the game (7-7, 3-3 from three) and seven of those points came in the second quarter.

Brittany Brown is leading the ACC in steals (4th nationally) and her quick hands kept the Noles in the game. Brown had two steals in the quarter and both of them led to transition layups for FSU. At the half the Noles were clinging to a 26-25 lead.

The third quarter was simply a disaster for FSU. The Noles were outscored 19-9 in the quarter. The Noles went scoreless for five minutes and 51 seconds of game time. In the same time span ASU scored 12 points and FSU was seriously on the ropes. Shakayla Thomas stopped the bleeding with a layup to end the quarter but the Noles saw their slim halftime lead turn into a 44-35 deficit going into the fourth quarter.

The Noles showed heart in the fourth quarter. FSU was able to cut the Sun Devil lead to six and force an ASU timout after Bingley took it to the rack and got fouled. After the timeout Bingley completed the three point play and FSU was within five points with 6:14 left in the game. Unfortunately for the Noles that is as close as they would get. The Sun Devils then went on an 11-2 run fueled by two three pointers from Hawkins and FSU was never able to recover.

FSU now owns an 0-2 record against the top 25 and are 2-3 on the road. Those records obviously aren't good but both losses to top 25 teams were on the road and one of them was to a dominating UConn team so the records really don't reflect the quality of this team. That said, there are some concerns that can be seen with the team.

However, give ASU credit. When FSU was making a run to get back into the game in the fourth quarter the Sun Devils were able to shut the door with that 11-2 run. ASU shot 46.7% from 3 and 49% overall and that was with their best shooter, Katie Hempen, going scoreless.

ASU clearly came out with a strategy to blanket Romero and make it hard for her to initiate the offense. They were able to hold her to only two assists for the game. If Romero doesn't play well the Noles will likely struggle. If Romero and Adut Bulgak both have off games FSU will lose. That is what happened today. Bulgak had three points on 1-5 shooting. In fact the entire front court for the Noles struggled as Bulgak, Ivey Slaughter, Kai James, Maria Conde and Ama Degbeon combined for only five points on the day.

FSU also struggled a bit with rebounding. The Noles really rely on winning the rebounding and second chance points battle and today they didn't do that as they lost the rebounding battle 32-30. They did win the second chance points battle 14-12 but FSU needs a big edge there to beat good teams and they didn't get that today.

When FSU loses it is normally because they go through extended scoring droughts. As we discussed earlier, this is what happened in that nightmare third quarter. Against the better teams FSU needs to have a go to player that they can rely on to get points in adverse circumstances when things aren't going well. I believe that player will eventually be Thomas but she isn't quite there yet.

It's also no coincidence that FSU lost in a game where three players ended up with four fouls (Bingley, Bulgak and Thomas) and a fourth player (Slaughter) fouled out. FSU has only ten players on the active roster and only seven or eight of them (depending on the game) are in the rotation. This clearly isn't last year's team where depth was a strength.

This team is still very good but some of the issues that we discussed in preseason are showing up now. The Noles did have a quick turnaround with only two days (and a cross country flight) between this game and their last game against Murray State so the sky isn't falling. However, it is fortunate that the team now has a week off before their next game against Jacksonville. After that ACC play begins and FSU starts with a date in Louisville against the Cardinals.

Next Game

On Monday, Dec 28, FSU returns to the TLCCC to take on Jacksonville at 7pm on ESPN 3.