No. 17 Florida State (20-4, 9-4 ACC) defeated Virginia (10-14, 5-8 ACC) today in Tallahassee by a 63-55 score.
Florida State took control of the game early. It only took two and a half minutes for FSU to go on a 9-2 run that was sparked by a jumper from Kiah Gillespie. The Noles had jumped out to a 14-6 lead. From there the teams traded baskets and the Seminoles took an 18-10 lead into the second quarter.
UVA came back strong to start the second quarter hitting FSU with a 9-0 run to take a 19-18 lead with 5:21 left. Kourtney Weber broke the run with a layup. From there the teams exchanged buckets until the end of the quarter. The Noles ended the half on a 7-2 run to take a 33-25 lead into the break.
The Cavaliers were able to cut the lead in the third quarter. UVA ended the quarter on an 8-2 run that allowed them to cut the lead to 41-37. FSU only scored eight points in the period. After scoring 15 points in the first half Kiah Gillespie only took one shot in the third quarter - a missed three.
Nicki Ekhomu hit a jumper midway through the fourth that gave the Noles a 51-41 lead. UVA responded with a 11-5 run to cut the lead to 56-52 with 42 seconds left in the game. However, the Seminoles had an answer. FSU scored the next seven points to put the game away. After a cosmetic three from Virginia to end the game the Noles walked away with a 63-55 victory.
Kiah Gillespie led FSU with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Morgan Jones recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. Nicki Ekhomu also chipped in 11 points.
Sammie Puisis missed the game as she tweaked her knee in practice this week. It is not thought to be serious. Without her the Seminoles struggled from deep shooting 19% (4-21).
Florida State didn’t have its A game today but still got the win. This was mainly due to the fact that FSU is much more talented than this UVA team that will struggle just to get to the WNIT.
FSU has five games left on the schedule. They will likely be favored in all five. With the huge win at Louisville the Seminoles are likely on the NCAA Tournament four line right now. If the Noles can win out in the regular season and get to at least the semi-finals of the ACC Tournament they have a chance to finish on the three line. The opportunity is there. We will see if the Seminoles can seize it.
Florida State will take a week off before traveling to Durham, NC next Sunday to take on the Duke Blue Devils. Duke (12-10, 6-5 ACC) is playing at Miami today. The game will tip at 1pm and will be broadcast on ESPN2.