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No. 22 FSU women’s basketball falls to No. 4 Louisville

FSU starts slow and can’t recover against the Cardinals.

NCAA Womens Basketball: ACC Tournament Notre Dame vs Florida State Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

(22) Florida State (16-3, 4-2 ACC) was defeated by (4) Louisville (18-1, 6-1 ACC) 68-49 tonight in Tallahassee.

Game Recap

The Cards got off to a quick start. UL started the game on a 20-4 run. Savannah Wilkinson scored the last points of the quarter on a layup but FSU finished the quarter in a 20-6 hole. The Noles had serious trouble dealing with Louisville’s full court pressure. The Cardinals came into the game with a strategy to shut down any shots inside the three point line. In so doing they let the Noles have good shots from three. However, FSU struggles from downtown (currently shooting 27.4% for the year) and the Seminoles couldn’t make Louisville pay for giving up the open shots.

In the second quarter the Noles were able to close the gap a bit. The Noles did a much better job handling Louisville’s pressure. They also started to hit a few shots. FSU hit Louisville with an 11-2 run that was sparked by a Kiah Gillespie triple. Florida State had climbed back to within seven at 26-19. Asia Durr broke the run with a three ball and the teams traded baskets for the rest of the half and the Cards went into halftime with a 32-23 lead.

UL started the second half like they started the game - hot. The Cards hit FSU with an 11-2 run out of the locker room to take a 43-25 lead. Florida State continued to fight but the lead was too great and Durr was too good for the Noles to come back. Louisville would cruise to a 68-49 victory.

Post Game

Kiah Gillespie led the Noles with 13 points and six boards. Nicki Ekhomu was the only other Seminole in double figures with 11 points.

I think that we are just going to have to accept that FSU is not going to be a good three point shooting team this year. FSU didn’t take many (if any) bad threes; they just couldn’t hit them. The Noles were 3-18 (16.7%) for the game and they are 27.4% on the season. Teams are going to continue to pack it in against FSU and dare the Seminoles to beat them from outside.

Florida State also struggled against Louisville’s size inside. The Noles have only two players active taller than six foot and the bigger Cardinals took advantage. Louisville dominated the glass out rebounding the Noles 37-25 and they had seven blocks with the 6’4 Kylee Shook having five by herself.

Louisville also has Asia Durr and the Seminoles (like most teams) had no answer. Durr is the reigning ACC player of the year and she will almost certainly be a first team All-American this year. She took over the game, especially in the third quarter, and ended with 29 points. Fortunately Durr is a senior so FSU doesn’t have to worry about her anymore.

Louisville is Final Four material and it wouldn’t be a shock to see them win it all if they get on a roll and Durr gets hot at the right time. UL is a better team than FSU. The only real chance the Noles had in this one would have been for them to get hot from three and we saw how that turned out.

However, there were some good things to take from this game. FSU didn’t quit and had some good play particularly in the second quarter. The Noles also played good defense and turned UL over 17 times. Morgan Jones had another good game and Amaya Brown didn’t score but she played great on ball defense disrupting UL’s half-court offense several times. Also, after the awful first quarter the score for the rest of the game was UL 48- FSU 43. As noted, FSU is not in Louisville’s class this year but there were definitely positive things to build on from this game.

Next Game

Florida State will attempt to bounce back when they travel to Blacksburg, VA for a date with the Virginia Tech Hokies (13-6, 0-6 ACC). Tech lost tonight to North Carolina by a 81-69 score.