The #13 Florida State Seminoles (10-0) led the entire way as they down the Arizona State Sun Devils (7-3) 77-66 in Tallahassee.
FSU has been very impressive this season in the early going. While the Noles haven’t played the most challenging schedule (159th, Sagarin) they have handled it the way a top team should. Florida State has had only one game all year that has been closer than double digits (94-93 at Iowa).
Arizona State is probably the best team FSU has played to date. The Sun Devils are ranked 19th by Sagarin. ASU uses tough defense and gritty rebounding to get wins. They are led by junior forward 6’1 Kianna Ibis (11.7pg, 4.0rg) and 6’3 junior center Charnea Johnson-Chapman (9.2pg, 6.9rg). The Sun Devils lost their second leading scorer Sabrina Haines for the year due to an ACL injury so they will rely on sophomores Jamie Ruden (10pg) and Robbi Ryan (8.8pg) for perimeter scoring.
FSU is 4th nationally in OPPP (1.176) while ASU is 42nd (1.030). FSU is 19th nationally in DPPP (.765) while ASU is 23rd (.768).
FSU got off to a quick start going up 22-6 in the first quarter. ASU was missing shots and the Noles were cleaning the glass keeping the Sun Devils to one shot. At the end of the first quarter the Seminoles enjoyed a 27-11 lead.
In the second quarter Imani Wright nailed a three ball to give FSU a 37-21 lead but ASU wouldn’t quit. They outscored FSU 16-9 in the last three minutes of the quarter to cut the lead to 46-37 going into halftime.
The teams started the third quarter by mostly trading baskets. FSU then went on a 10-2 run that was capped by a Nausia Woolfolk three to put the Noles up 65-48. Courtney Ekmark answered with a three of her own but FSU took a comfortable 65-51 lead into the fourth quarter.
ASU kept playing. They went on an 11-2 run to close the gap to 67-59 with about seven minutes left in the game. Unfortunately for them they would get no closer as FSU was able to right the ship and take the 77-66 victory.
FSU was led by Imani Wright’s 22 points while Shakayla Thomas (15pts, 10reb) and AJ Alix (14pts, 11asts) both had double-doubles.
Florida State will now travel to Austin Texas to take on the #2 Texas Longhorns on Dec 17th. This will be a rematch of last year’s double OT comeback win for Texas.