(14) Miami (23-6, 11-3 ACC) defeated (22) Florida State (21-6, 9-5 ACC) by a 64-54 score today in Coral Gables.
Miami took a quick 4-2 lead in the game. The Seminoles responded in fine fashion by going on a 10-0 run that was sparked by a Nicki Ekhomu triple. Due in large part to the run, FSU was able to take a 16-8 lead into the second quarter.
The Noles stretched the lead to 22-8 on the strength of consecutive threes from Nausia Woolfolk and Kiah Gillespie. After that the Seminoles went into the cooler. FSU would miss their next 10 shots and UM capitalized with a 15-0 run to take a 23-22 lead. Gillespie finally broke the run with a jumper but UM closed the period on a 7-2 run to take a 30-26 lead into halftime.
The teams played the third quarter fairly even. They mostly exchanged baskets and the quarter ended the same way it started with the Canes nursing a four point lead.
The Hurricanes started the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run that was sparked by a triple from Laura Cornelius. Nausia Woolfolk broke the run with a layup but FSU was still in a 53-41 hole. However, Woolfolk’s layup sparked Florida State to a 10-3 run to close the gap to 56-49. With about two minutes left in the game Woolfolk hit a big triple to pull the Noles to within four at 58-54. However, UM responded well with six straight points to close out the game and secure the 64-54 win.
Nausia Woolfolk led the Noles with 20 points. Nicki Ekhomu chipped in 12 while Kiah Gillespie had nine with 15 boards.
It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out this game. FSU captured the early lead by capitalizing on turnovers with good shooting. In the second quarter UM abandoned the zone that wasn’t working and cut down on the turnovers. Florida State helped by going ice cold and the Canes quickly erased FSU’s 14 point lead.
The Noles also struggled with UM’s size. The 6’3 Emese Hof and the 6’4 Beatrice Mompremier combined for 32 points and 18 rebounds.
This game was critical for ACC tournament seeding. The winner of the game would secure a top four spot in the ACC standings. With the loss FSU falls to sixth in the ACC. Miami moves to fourth and currently would have the double-bye in the ACC tournament.
Florida State welcomes (18) Syracuse (20-6, 9-4 ACC) to Tallahassee on Thursday. The Orange beat Pitt 90-63 last Thursday. This is another huge game regarding ACC positioning as the Orange are currently in fifth place a half game ahead of the Seminoles in the ACC.