No. 14 Florida State (17-4, 6-4 ACC) fell to Boston College (11-9, 4-5 ACC) by a 65-56 score tonight in Tallahassee.
The game started out close but BC made the first move. Midway through the first quarter the Eagles hit FSU with an 8-0 run to take a 15-8 lead. Emma Guy had six straight points during the run. The Seminoles responded by scoring the final five points of the quarter to cut the Eagle lead to 15-13 going into the second quarter.
The Noles continued the run by getting a pair of buckets from Kiah Gillespie and Morgan Jones to open the second quarter. However, BC answered with a 9-2 run to take a 24-19 lead. The teams traded baskets but the Noles again scored the final five points of the period to close the lead to 29-27 heading into halftime.
The Eagles hit the Noles with another run early in the third quarter. Makayla Dickens hit a triple to spark BC to an 11-2 run to put the Eagles up 40-31. Valencia Myers scored to break the run but Emma Guy scored five straight points to stretch the lead to 45-33. Nicki Ekhomu responded with three straight jumpers to end the quarter but Florida State was still in a 45-39 hole going into the fourth quarter.
Ekhomu nailed another jumper to start the scoring in the fourth quarter. However, BC responded with a quick 6-0 run to take a 51-43 lead. From there FSU couldn’t get closer as the teams mostly traded baskets. With less than two minutes left the Noles were reduced to fouling and Marnelle Garraud sank six straight free throws to doom the Noles to the 65-56 loss.
Nicki Ekhomu led the way for FSU with 19 points. Kiah Gillespie had 12 and Morgan Jones was the only other Nole in double figures with 10.
Senior Nausia Woolfolk was out for this game due to a lower extremity injury. Woolfolk had a boot on her foot as she sat on the sideline.
FSU is now 16-2 all time against Boston College with the other loss occurring in the ACC Tournament in 2010.
There are a few important reasons for this loss which we will discuss but make no mistake about it, this was a highly damaging loss for Florida State. It obviously doesn’t impact the chances that the Seminoles will make the Tournament nor does it turn FSU into a bubble team. However, this single game will likely move the Noles down a seed line when the Tournament bracket is announced. If Florida State doesn’t get healthy fairly quickly the Noles could find themselves on the road for the opening games of the NCAA Tournament.
Speaking of health, FSU is really banged up right now. The Seminoles basically played seven players tonight and that included River Baldwin who only played 10 minutes. Sayawni Lassiter, Nausia Woolfolk, Savannah Wilkinson, and Izabela Nicoletti all missed the game due to injury. Amaya Brown only played four minutes as she is still not 100% following her ACL injury from last year. Boston College outplayed FSU tonight and deserved the victory but there is a serious amount of talent sitting on the sidelines in street clothes for Florida State.
FSU shot poorly from the field tonight (24-64) and dismally from behind the arc (4-20). Florida State also had only two fast break points. When you are having to score almost every possession against a set defense and you are shooting poorly it is hard to score and upsets can happen even against a team that isn’t really in NCAA Tournament contention.
Lastly, FSU’s struggles against competent post play continued tonight. Emma Guy sliced the Noles up for 21 points on 10-16 shooting. Guy only averages 12.6 points a game. This is a serious achilles heel for the Seminoles and will likely haunt FSU for the rest of the season.
This was a jarring loss but the Noles can recover. The schedule remains fairly soft but FSU really needs to get healthy. Because of the injuries the Noles have too many players playing out of position and having to do too much.
The sky isn’t falling but the Seminoles were 15th in the RPI before the game and they are now 23rd in the RPI. This game feels like a bit of an inflection point for the season. The Noles can absolutely turn this around but after a game like this a bit of soul searching needs to be done. We will see how this team will respond.
Florida State will head to Pittsburgh on Saturday to face the Panthers (4-16, 1-8 ACC) led by former FSU assistant coach Lance White. The game will tip at 5pm and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra. Pitt earned their first ACC win tonight with a 53-48 victory over Wake Forest.