(12) Florida State (22-4, 10-3 ACC) defeated Clemson (11-16, 1-13 ACC) 91-43 tonight in Tallahassee.
Clemson is a program that is struggling. We have discussed the Tigers before and not much has changed. Since they lost to Florida State in January Clemson has gone 1-10 with the lone win being a double overtime home victory over Boston College. Simply put, the Tigers just don’t have the talent to hang with most ACC teams and certainly not a top 10ish team like FSU.
However, the Tigers do have at least one seriously talented player and that is sophomore forward Kobi Thornton. The 6’2 Thornton (10.5pts, 6.5reb) is leading Clemson in both points and rebounds. She is tough and athletic on the interior and she also flashes a very nice mid-range game. Thornton is for real and is the only player on Clemson’s roster who would get meaningful minutes for FSU - she would probably start for the Noles.
Clemson scored the first two points of the game on a Thornton jumper. FSU responded by reeling off 13 straight. Clemson would fight back to cut the lead to 17-10 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Noles held Clemson to only eight points and was able to build a 37-18 halftime lead. The lead would have been greater but FSU was cold from behind the arc (2-15 3PT) in the first half.
In the third quarter FSU would go on a 19-4 run that was started by an AJ Alix triple. The Noles broke the game open with the run and led by a 58-28 score to effectively end the game. The lead would be no closer than 28 points for the rest of the game.
The Seminoles were led by 19 points from Shakayla Thomas. Chatrice White had a double-double with 10 points and 16 boards. Imani Wright chipped in with 16 points.
The Noles took care of business in this one as they pounded a team that has inferior talent. FSU got the decisive win and came out of the game with no injuries (Iho Lopez was held out due to illness). The Seminoles will move on from this and focus on a big game at Duke coming up on Monday.
Around the ACC
At this time of year is is worthwhile to keep an eye on the rest of the conference. The Noles want to get a top four seed in the ACC Tournament in order to get a double bye.
FSU now sits at 10-3 in the ACC and is in third place. The Seminoles are two games behind Notre Dame and Louisville and one game ahead of NC State and Virginia. Notre Dame and Syracuse helped FSU tonight as the Irish beat the Cavaliers and the Orange took care of the Duke Blue Devils. Those two results combined helped to give the Noles sole possession of third place in the conference.
More importantly, Florida State wants to get a top four seed in the NCAA Tournament in order to have home games in the first two rounds of the Tournament. In the last reveal by the Tournament Committee FSU was ranked #8. Of course that translates to a #2 seed. In women’s basketball there is really very little difference between getting a #2 seed or a #3 seed. However, there is a big difference between a #3 seed and a #4 seed so the Noles will look to stay in the top 12 when the next reveal is announced. This will be during halftime of FSU’s game on Monday at Duke. FSU was a 3 seed in Charlie Creme’s latest bracket.
The Seminoles will travel to Durham on Monday for a big game with the (17) Duke Blue Devils (20-7, 9-5 ACC) at 6pm. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2. Sagarin rates FSU as a 3.5 point favorite. Duke fell tonight in a 68-65 thriller in the Carrier Dome to Syracuse.