Florida State (7-1) defeated Penn State (4-3) by a 87-58 score in Tallahassee tonight.
The Seminoles started the game in fine fashion making their first four shots. After a Valencia Myers layup, the ’Noles went up 9-3. However, the Nittany Lions didn’t go away. PSU eventually tied the score at 17 on a Bexley Wallace layup with about three minutes left in the first quarter. From there the teams traded baskets, and the 1st quarter ended in a 21-21 tie.
FSU took control of the game in the beginning of the 2nd quarter. Nicki Ekhomu sparked the ’Noles to a 12-2 run that gave FSU a 33-23 lead. From there the teams traded baskets until Florida State went on a 7-2 run capped by a Nausia Woolfolk jumper to end the half, giving the Seminoles a healthy 48-33 lead.
In the 2nd half, Florida State continued the onslaught, scoring the first six points to take a 54-33 lead on a Myers layup. The teams mostly traded baskets for the rest of the quarter, until FSU took a 67-47 lead after a Woolfolk layup.
The ’Noles started the final frame on a 10-0 run that was capped by an Ekhomu jumper. The run only took two minutes, but it left FSU in control at 74-47. From there, Sue Semrau’s squad cruised to the eventual 87-58 final score.
Kiah Gillespie was fantastic for FSU. The redshirt junior scored a career high 27 points on 12-15 shooting (3-5, 3PT):
Our key player of the game @Kiah15Gillespie !!#FSUWBB pic.twitter.com/5a6KcBFQWE— FSU Women's Hoops (@fsuwbb) November 30, 2018
The other double digit scorers for FSU were Woolfolk (16pts), Myers (11pts), and Ekhomu (11pts). Myers had a double-double as she also had 14 rebounds.
Florida State started the game extremely hot from the field. Gillespie was particularly impressive with 12 points in the 1st quarter. There were a couple of stretches in the 1st half where seemingly everything the ’Noles shot went in. PSU was able to keep up for a while, but, eventually, FSU was able to pull away.
The Seminoles really needed their veterans to step up this season, as Florida State lost five senior starters off last year’s team. The early returns have been good. Woolfolk was named MVP after beating No. 12 Iowa last week to win the Junkanoo Jam. Ekhomu has embraced her new role at point guard and leads FSU in assists. Gillespie leads the team in scoring and had a breakout game tonight. Florida State also welcomed a top-5 recruiting class, and those new players have enjoyed early success.
However, FSU hasn’t played the most challenging schedule, as LSU and Iowa are the only teams likely to make the NCAA Tournament. The Noles split with the Tigers and Hawkeyes. FSU’s the sixth youngest team in the nation, so it was wise for head coach Sue Semrau to take things slowly. Therefore, it’ll be a while before we really learn whether this team has the goods. ACC play will be very revealing. However, the early returns are encouraging.
FSU will travel to Macon, GA to take on the Mercer Bears on Wednesday, December 5th. The game will tip at 7pm.