The (4) Florida State Seminoles (24-4,12-2 ACC) return to their winning ways with an 80-47 victory over the much improved Clemson Tigers (14-14, 3-12 ACC) in Tallahassee.
We discussed Clemson earlier. In that previous game on January 15th in Clemson, FSU won easily 86-27 but Clemson leading scorer Nelly Perry didn't play due to injury. In this game the script was flipped as Florida State was at home but leading scorer Shakayla Thomas didn't play due to injury.
Clemson has been trending upward in the last couple of weeks. In their last six games the Tigers are 3-3 with double digit wins over North Carolina and Pitt. In their last game the Tigers only lost to conference heavyweight Notre Dame by four points (84-80). This is from a team that went winless in conference last season. Coach Audra Smith certainly has her program headed in the right direction.
FSU came out red hot in this game starting off with a 20-2 run. Chatrice White got the start in place of the injured Thomas and she scored FSU's first points on a jumper. Brittany Brown scored on a jumper with 31 seconds left in the quarter to end the first quarter scoring with the Noles up 23-4.
In the second quarter the two teams mostly traded baskets. Clemson finally got their sea legs but they could never put together much of a run to close the gap. The Tigers won the second quarter 19-18 but they still faced a 41-23 deficit at halftime.
In the second half Clemson was never able to get the gap closer than 20 points and the Noles cruised to the 33 point victory.
In her first start in garnet and gold, Chatrice White hit for a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and five blocks. Ivey Slaughter and Brittany Brown led the Seminoles in scoring with 14 apiece. Ama Degbeon joined them in double figures with 10 points off the bench. Danielle Edwards was the only Tiger in double figures with 11 points.
Clemson is a team on the rise but the Tigers just don't have the talent to handle Florida State right now. FSU looked more like their old selves in this game.The Seminoles won the rebounding battle (38-32) and only committed 16 turnovers. Other positives were that FSU got good minutes off the bench from Degbeon and Nicole Ekhomu who contributed nine points. However, the Noles still struggled from behind the arc going 3-13.
With this win the Noles have clinched a double bye in the ACC Tournament. They still have the opportunity to win the ACC regular season championship if they can win their next two games (Pitt, at Notre Dame).
Florida State will welcome the Pittsburgh Panthers (13-13, 4-9 ACC) to the TLCCC on Thursday, Feb 23rd at 7pm. Pitt beat Virginia Tech 72-64 last Thursday. Sagarin has FSU as 29 point favorites.