No. 22 Florida State (11-4, 2-1 ACC) fell to no. 3 NC State (14-0. 2-0 ACC) by an 88-80 score tonight in overtime in Raleigh, NC.
Florida State was able to seduce NC State into playing at a fast pace early. The Noles were getting a lot of open shots (mostly from deep) but weren’t able to knock them down. FSU started the game 2-11 from three point range but they were still tied with the Pack at 10-10 at the first timeout. Former Nole River Baldwin was big for NC State with 12 first quarter points and the Wolfpack took a 20-17 lead into the second quarter.
The game stayed tight in the second quarter. FSU still struggled to shoot from the perimeter but the Noles played tough defense and were able to keep the Pack off the offensive glass. Head coach Wes Moore finally gave Baldwin a rest and that made the pack a bit smaller which negated their post game. However, NC State scored the last six points of the half to take a 40-34 lead going into halftime.
FSU started the third quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 45-42 lead. However, midway through the quarter the Pack hit FSU with a 10-0 run to take a 54-48 lead and draw a timeout from head coach Brooke Wyckoff. FSU kept turning the ball over (mostly from charges) and the Wolfpack did a great job converting on the offensive end. Makayla Timpson broke the run with an old-fashioned three point play. However, that run helped the Pack take a 59-51 lead into the fourth quarter.
Florida State didn’t go away. The Noles got back into the game by driving the lane and getting to the free throw line. FSU managed to cut the lead to three at 69-66 with about three and a half minutes left in the game. Ta’Niya Latson was brilliant down the stretch getting to the free throw line and attacking the basket. FSU fought back to tie the game at 74-74. Latson drove the ball in the lane on the last possession but the ball was poked away by Mimi Collins and the game went into overtime.
The Pack started the overtime period with a pair of big threes from Madison Hayes and Aziaha James. Those shots put the Noles on their heels and forced them to play catch up for the rest of the period. The Pack also did a great job attacking the basket which allowed them to maintain the lead. In the end FSU was reduced to fouling to stop the clock but it wasn’t enough as the Wolfpack escaped with an 88-80 victory.
Ta’Niya Latson led Florida State with 30 points and six rebounds. O’Mariah Gordon had 15 points and seven boards while Makayla Timpson had 13 points, nine rebounds and six blocks. Sara Bejedi chipped in with 12 points and eight boards.
Former Seminole River Baldwin had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Pack but unfortunately the senior center left the game in the third quarter with an apparent lower leg injury.
The Pack had size over FSU at almost every position. Baldwin was able to leverage her size for easy baskets. She also took five charges in the game before she was injured.
Baldwin’s injury flipped the game and allowed FSU to get back into it with a chance to win on the last possession.
Usually overtime favors the home team. However, in this game FSU seemed to have the advantage with the momentum and Baldwin being unavailable. Unfortunately for the Noles the two big threes to start the overtime swung the momentum back to the Pack and the Seminoles were never able to recover.
If the Noles were able to shoot just a bit better (7-32, 3FG) this game would have likely been theirs.
Taking the third ranked team in the nation to overtime on the road is a great effort but the Noles will be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of this chance at a signature win.
Florida State will travel to Clemson, SC to face the Tigers on Sunday. The game will tip at 4pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.