Florida State (4-2, 3-2 ACC) fell to No. 2 Louisville (12-0, 5-0 ACC) today by a 84-56 score in Louisville, KY.
The Seminoles managed to hang with Louisville early. The Cardinals were struggling a bit with turnovers and Bianca Jackson was going off for the Noles. Jackson had nine of FSU’s 17 first quarter points. At the end of the first quarter the score was tied at 17. It was the first time this year that UL didn’t have the lead after the first quarter.
Louisville hit three straight triples to open up a 28-20 lead in the second quarter. Bianca Jackson stopped the bleeding with a jumper. However, the Cards finished the quarter by sinking nine of their last eleven shots and they had a 43-31 lead at halftime.
The third quarter started out with the two teams trading baskets. However the Cards ended the quarter on a 16-6 run. FSU had only one FG in the last seven minutes of the quarter. This allowed the Cardinals to take a 64-45 lead into the third quarter.
Louisville started the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 73-47 lead. FSU was never able to get close after that as the Cards cruised to the 84-56 victory.
Bianca Jackson led the Seminoles with 21 points. Morgan Jones was the only other Nole in double figures with 14 points.
This was Florida State’s first game since December 31st as the program has been on pause due to Covid protocols. FSU has only played six games this season. That is the fewest number of games played by any ACC team that has not cancelled the season.
It is never good to lose by 28 points but this game was always going to be a very tough challenge. Not only did FSU have to deal with the long layoff but the Noles only had eight players available for this game.
Louisville will likely be the number one team in the nation in the next poll as Stanford was upset at Colorado this afternoon. The Cardinals showed why today as they shot very well (54.2% FG, 47.8% 3PT) and displayed precision offense throughout the game. FSU did not play poor defense. UL was just a well oiled machine on offense today.
There were times where the Seminoles were able to make good moves but the finishing was often not there for FSU. This could have been due to rust but it also could have been due to tired legs as the Seminoles only had eight players available for the game.
Louisville also worked FSU on the boards. The Cards enjoyed a 38-25 edge in rebounding in the game.
It’s hard to know how much to take away from this game. Louisville is clearly a better team than FSU right now. That is not in doubt. However, they probably aren’t 28 points better. Once the Noles get more games under their belt and hopefully get more players back they will probably fare better going forward.
It doesn’t get much easier for Florida State. The Seminoles will host No. 3 NC State (10-0, 5-0 ACC) in Tallahassee on Thursday. The game is scheduled for an 8pm tip. The Wolfpack hasn’t played since January 3rd as their season has been on pause due to Covid protocols.