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FSU women’s basketball holds off Virginia

The Seminoles moves into third place in the ACC.

Florida St v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

(12) Florida State (20-4, 8-3 ACC) defeats Virginia (15-9, 8-3 ACC) 77-62 tonight in Tallahassee.


The Cavaliers struggled in the non-conference losing six games before ACC play even began. However, the schedule was tough as four of those losses came to teams who have spent some time in the top 25 this year.

Virginia is a team that plays in a deliberative fashion (sound familiar?). They rank 217th nationally in pace while FSU is 53rd.

UVA is led by senior guard Aliyah Huland El. The 6’1 Huland El leads the team in scoring (11.3pg). She is a threat from behind the arc (37%) and she shoots 85% from the free throw line. Dominique Toussaint and Jocelyn Willoughby are two more players to watch in the Cavalier back court. The 5’9 Toussaint is the former New York Miss Basketball. The sophomore runs the point for UVA and leads the team in assists (3.75 apg) as well as scoring 10.9 points. The 6’0 Willoughby is a sophomore wing who averages 10 points a game and is second on the team in rebounding (5.1 rg).

Any discussion of Virginia is not complete without discussing center Felicia Aiyeotan. The 6’9 sophomore leads the ACC in blocked shots (2.48 bg). Aiyeotan is the tallest player in the nation (including the WNBA) and she has a 7’3 wingspan. It is very difficult to get anything at the rim when she is in the game. Fortunately for opponents she isn’t very athletic because otherwise she wouldn’t be fair. Even so she leads the Hoos in rebounding (7.5 rg).

Game Recap

FSU got off to a great start in this one beginning the game with a 14-2 run that was capped by an Imani Wright triple. From there the teams mostly traded baskets and FSU had a 19-9 lead after the first quarter.

However, UVA refused to fold. After an AJ Alix three the Hoos went on a 7-0 run to cut the Nole lead to 22-16. From there FSU broke the game open with a 20-2 run to take a 42-18 lead. Brianna Tinsley responded with a triple for the Cavaliers but FSU still took a 42-21 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter the two teams mostly traded baskets but the Hoos were able to cut the lead to 19 with the score 59-40 going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth UVA used an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 70-62 with 1:27 left. However, they would get no closer as FSU ended the game on a 7-0 run for the final 77-62 score.

Post Game

FSU was led by Shakayla Thomas and her 20 points. AJ Alix chipped in 17 for the Noles.

This was the rare game where FSU lost the rebound battle (43-32). Jocelyn Willoughby had 10 rebounds and Felicia Aiyeotan had 13 for the Hoos.

FSU was good offensively in this game but the Noles really won it with defense. The Noles held UVA to 34.8% shooting (5-19 3PT). This is 6.5% lower than their average.

AJ Alix had a nice game tonight and seems to have regained the form that she displayed earlier this year when she started out so hot.

This win lifts FSU into a third place tie with UVA in the ACC (FSU has the tiebreaker).

Next Game

Florida State will travel to Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes (17-7, 7-4 ACC) this Sunday at 4pm. The game will be televised on ESPN 2. Miami edged (23) NC State tonight 52-48. Sagarin rates FSU as an 8.5 point favorite.