Third-seeded Florida State (25-5, 12-4 ACC) defeated sixth-seeded Miami (21-10, 10-6 ACC) 73-69 tonight in the ACC tournament quarterfinals at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Miami got off to a flying start, scoring the first eight points of the game. This forced Florida State head coach Sue Semrau to call an early timeout. FSU responded with a 10-0 capped by a Ama Degbeon layup. From there, the teams mostly traded baskets until Imani Wright hit a triple to close the quarter, giving the ’Noles an 18-14 lead.
Florida State started the second quarter with a 7-2 run to take a 25-16 lead. Neither team was able to take a decisive lead from there, and the half ended with the Noles up 36-30 after another Wright jumper.
UM scored the first six points out of the break to tie the game at 36. The teams then traded baskets until midway through the 3rd. Finally, the Seminoles hit the Hurricanes with a 10-0 run to take a 51-40 lead with 3:25 left in the quarter. Miami battled back, but the ’Noles still led 55-47 after 3.
The teams started out the final frame trading baskets, but then FSU hit six straight free throws to take a 63-49 lead. The Seminoles soon stretched that lead to 67-50 after another jumper from Wright. The Hurricanes answered with five straight points after a corner 3, and a steal in the back court leading to an easy layup. This gave Miami confidence, and they were able to go on a 12-1 run, as FSU committed four turnovers in a minute and a half, causing their lead to dwindle to 72-69. After a Shakayla Thomas free throw, UM was unable to get a shot off, and the ’Noles walked away with a 73-69 win.
Wright led FSU with 20 points (15 in the first half). Chatrice White had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Thomas and Degbeon had identical lines of 10 points and boards.
This was the third win for FSU over Miami this season. It was by far the closest game of the trilogy. Miami kept it close by rebounding better, as FSU only had a 35-33 advantage on the glass. The ’Canes also forced the ’Noles into 14 turnovers, while only committing eight.
Florida State won this game primarily through good shooting (44.6% FG, 41.7% 3PT and 85.7% FT). However, the final stretch was disappointing for Seminole fans, as their team seemed to take its foot off the gas, allowing Miami to get back into the game.
Florida State will face second seeded Notre Dame (28-2, 15-1 ACC) on Saturday in the ACC tournament semifinals. The game will tip around 2:30pm and be broadcast on ESPNU. Notre Dame routed Virginia 83-47 earlier on Friday. ND also beat FSU 100-69 earlier this season in Tallahassee. Sagarin rates the Irish as seven point favorites.