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FSU women’s basketball outlasts Clemson in a double overtime thriller

Morgan Jones would not let her team lose.

Mike Olivella

Florida State (5-2, 4-2 ACC) defeated Clemson (8-5, 3-5 ACC) tonight by a 95-88 score in double overtime.

Game Recap

There were a lot of whistles early (and for the whole game) as there were three fouls called before a single shot was taken. Eventually though there was scoring. Sammie Puisis started off hot for Florida State as the sophomore hit four triples in the first quarter. FSU used that scoring punch to take a 23-18 lead into the second quarter.

Clemson started the second quarter with seven quick points to take a 25-23 lead. FSU answered with an 8-2 run to take the lead back at 31-27. After that the two teams traded buckets and the Noles went to halftime with a 37-33 lead.

The two teams traded baskets to start the second half. Then Morgan Jones asserted herself. The junior wing scored FSU’s next 10 points but the Seminoles couldn’t pull away because the Tigers were beating up the Noles on the boards earning putbacks to keep the game close. Clemson narrowed the margin to 50-45 after a jumper from Gabby Elliott. However, FSU ended the quarter on a 9-4 run to take a healthy 59-49 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers roared back in the fourth quarter. Clemson scored the first six points of the quarter to cut the lead to four. Jones ended the run with a jumper but Delicia Washington scored five straight points to pull Clemson to within one at 61-60. After two Morgan Jones free throws, Clemson scored the next five to take a 65-63 lead with four minutes left. FSU answered with a 6-2 mini-run to grab the lead back.

With a minute left in regulation Jones snagged a rebound and raced up court. Jones then backed the ball out to run clock as FSU enjoyed a 71-69 lead. Bianca Jackson came to get the ball. FSU ran a curl action with Jones through the lane. Jackson found Jones who quickly turned and blew by Elliott to the basket for the and-one opportunity. Jones converted the free throw to put FSU up 74-69 with 51.4 seconds left. It didn’t look good for the Tigers but Clemson refused to quit. Hannah Hank hit a 15 footer to pull Clemson within three at 74-71 with 38 seconds left. Clemson called their last timeout of regulation to stop the clock.

FSU inbounded the ball but 6’4 Tylar Bennett deflected the inbound pass and stole the ball. Bennett missed her shot but Washington got the putback and Clemson cut the lead to one with 32.1 seconds left in the game. Florida State called a timeout to advance the ball. Kourtney Weber eventually got fouled. Weber hit both to put FSU up three with 24 seconds left. Clemson took the ball up court and dribbled around a while until Elliott got it and threw up a three that was well contested by Jones. However, Elliott got it to go and Clemson had tied the game at 76. FSU failed to score on the ensuing possession and the game went into overtime.

In the first overtime Washington hit a jumper with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 82. FSU called timeout and advanced the ball. On the ensuing possession Bianca Jackson took the inbounds pass and was called for over and back for stepping on the half court line with 14 seconds left. I don’t want to talk about one call too much as there were several dodgy calls and many of them went FSU’s way but this one was pretty bad and it could have cost the Noles the game. Clemson got a good shot as Washington drove the lane with three seconds left but her layup was missed and the game went into double OT.

The Seminoles came out like a house on fire in the second overtime. FSU started out on a 10-0 run to take a 92-82 lead with 1:17 left. From there the Noles cruised to the 95-88 hard fought victory.

Post Game

Morgan Jones led FSU with the 38 point, 11 rebound double-double. It was a career high for Jones and is the most points by any ACC player this year. Sammie Puisis and Bianca Jackson had 18 points each.

Clemson stayed in this game with rebounding. The Tigers had 24 second chance points to only eleven for FSU. However, the Noles won the game at the free throw line. FSU went 24-33 while Clemson was only 12-17.

This was a game of attrition as six players fouled out (2 for FSU, 4 for Clemson). The game was also quite physical.

FSU showed a ton of heart in this game. The Seminoles won a tough, physical double overtime game when they only dressed eight players. This was a great game for fans to watch but Florida State does not need to play too many more games like this one since they have such a short bench. There were also a few times where it looked like a player would have to leave the game with an injury. Thankfully each time the player returned. However, this could be a serious issue for Florida State as the Seminoles simply can’t afford any injuries with only eight players dressing for these games.

Jones was scintillating. She scored in a variety of ways showing off her much improved midrange game as well as getting to the rim on multiple occasions. Valencia Myers fouled out in the third quarter after getting called for a technical foul. Therefore, River Baldwin had to play 38 minutes (the most of her college career) and she responded well with nine points, eight rebounds and six blocks before fouling out.

Speaking of a lot of minutes played; Sammie Puisis played 50 minutes, Kourtney Weber played 47, Bianca Jackson played 45 and Morgan Jones played 41. Again, this was an exciting game for the fans but FSU doesn’t need to play too many games like this.

Next Game

FSU is scheduled to head to Atlanta on Sunday to face Georgia Tech (7-3, 5-2 ACC). The game will tip at 1pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra. The Yellow Jackets destroyed Wake Forest tonight in Winston, Salem 73-44.