(12) Florida State (21-4, 9-3 ACC) defeats Miami (17-8, 7-5 ACC) 91-71 this weekend in Coral Gables.
FSU blew out Miami earlier this season in Tallahassee 105-67. It was done with superior shooting and domination on the boards. Since then Miami has bounced back going 6-1 with their only loss coming to Louisville in a fairly close game (84-74).
Senior forward Erykah Davenport has remained very steady for the Canes averaging 12 points and 8.9 rebounds. Freshman guard Mykea Gray has also continued to play well for UM averaging 11.6 points a game.
This is a bit of a rebuilding year for the Canes. Even so they are in good shape to make the Tourney. The fact that they are in good position for the Tournament even in a rebuilding year says a lot about how far coach Katie Meier has taken the program. The good news for Hurricane fans is that they should be even better next year.
The two teams traded baskets early. FSU made a move midway through the first quarter when they went on an 11-2 run to take a 19-10 lead with about four minutes left in the quarter. Kelsey Marshall ended the run with a triple for UM. From there the Canes fought back to close the gap but Imani Wright ended the quarter with a three to give the Noles a 28-18 lead.
Wright’s triple continued a run for FSU that went into the second quarter. The Seminoles hit the Canes with a 21-2 run that broke the game open. The Noles had a 44-20 lead halfway through the second quarter. Davenport’s layup for UM broke the run but the damage was done. However, the Canes didn’t quit. They went on a 8-0 run themselves to close the gap. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and the score at halftime was 52-36.
In the second half the Canes threatened but could never get the lead under double digits. The Seminoles walked away with a 91-71 victory.
Nausia Woolfolk always plays well against Miami. She had 23 points in the previous meeting and she nearly had a triple-double today with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists off the bench. Woolfolk is playing with a high level of confidence. She has really stepped up for this team especially when you consider that she has assumed the role of backup point guard. As coach Sue Semrau has said Woolfolk was not recruited to play the point but she has adjusted beautifully.
Imani Wright and Shakayla Thomas also had strong games with 21 and 19 points respectfully. Thomas in particular did a good job attacking the basket. It seems that she has settled for midrange jumpers quite a bit this year. It’s understandable as she hits a high percentage of them but if she went to the rim more often like she did today she would get easier layups and put fouls on the defense.
On the downside, FSU had 20 turnovers today which is obviously way too many. UM has a talent deficit relative to FSU this year so today the Noles got away with the sloppy play. However, against better teams this many turnovers could easily lead to a loss.
The Seminoles welcome the Clemson Tigers to Tallahassee on Thursday at 7pm. The game will be carried on the ACC Network Extra. Clemson (11-15, 1-12 ACC) lost to Duke today 60-35. Sagarin rates FSU as a 33 point favorite.