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FSU women’s basketball hangs on to beat Duke

The Seminoles overcome dismal shooting from deep to get the win.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Boston College at Florida State Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State (16-2, 4-1 ACC) defeated Duke (8-9, 0-5 ACC) today in Tallahassee 66-62.

Game Recap

The game was tight early. FSU did a good job getting the ball inside to Valencia Myers and Kiah Gillespie. Duke countered with jumpers from Haley Gorecki and nice all around offense from Leaonna Odom. Neither team could gain much of an advantage in the first quarter. The quarter ended on a buzzer beater from Morgan Jones to pull the Noles within one at 15-14.

The two teams traded baskets to begin the second quarter. With about seven and a half minutes left in the quarter Florida State made a move. The Noles went on an 8-2 run that was sparked by a Myers layup. Odom hit a jumper to break the run but FSU responded with an 8-0 run to go up 34-23 with 2:14 left in the half. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and the Noles took a 41-28 lead into halftime.

Both teams came out cold in the second half but Duke was able to close the deficit with a 10-2 run that was capped by an Odom jumper with about a minute and a half left in the third. From there Amaya Brown and Haley Gorecki traded layups and the Seminoles took a 51-45 lead into the final period.

The fourth began with the two teams trading baskets. Neither team was able to pull away. This continued until the last minute of the game when Duke was forced to foul. FSU was up 62-57 and was inbounding the ball after a Duke foul. Gorecki stole the ball and got it over to Odom for a layup where she was fouled by Myers. Odom converted the three point play to cut FSU’s lead to two. The shot clock was off so Duke had to foul again to stop the clock. On the ensuing inbound play Nicki Ekhomu got free after Gorecki stumbled and Ekhomu scored a layup. Odom got to the line on the ensuing possession and sank two free throws to cut the lead to two with eight seconds left. Duke fouled Amaya Brown to stop the clock and the freshman hit two pressure free throws to ice the game and FSU escaped with a 66-62 win.

Post Game

Kiah Gillespie had 17 points and nine boards for FSU. Nicki Ekhomu had 14 points and six rebounds while Valencia Myers had 13 points and six rebounds. Morgan Jones had another good game with eight points and three boards as well as playing well defensively. It would be extremely helpful to Florida State if Jones were able to keep up this level of play off the bench. Sue Semrau made a change to the starting lineup inserting Amaya Brown in place of Kourtney Weber.

Duke had only three players score for the entire game. Haley Gorecki had 25 points while Leaonna Odom scored 20 and Jade Williams chipped in with 17.

FSU was simply awful from three point range. The Noles went 1-18 (5.6%) from deep. This ineptitude is a continuation of a disturbing trend. FSU has played five ACC games and their three point percentages in the prior four games are: 28.6%, 33.3%, 16.7%, and 25%. At 4-1, FSU has done a nice job finding a way to win these games despite the ice cold shooting. However, the schedule is about to take a steep climb in difficulty and it won’t go well for the Noles if they continue to shoot this way going forward.

The Seminoles overcame the cold shooting by dominating on the glass (36-27) and winning the turnover battle committing only 11 while forcing the Blue Devils into 19.

Next Game

Florida State will host #4 Louisville (17-1, 5-1 ACC) on Thursday at 7pm in Tallahassee. The game will be broadcast on ACC Regional Sports Networks. The Cardinals stomped Wake Forest today 73-49 in Winston Salem, NC.