Florida State (6-5, 0-1 ACC) fell today to Virginia Tech (9-3, 1-0 ACC) by a 92-75 score in Tallahassee.
Both teams started the game with hot shooting. Virginia Tech shot 53.3% from the field in the first quarter while Florida State was a scorching 68.8%. However, that translated only into a 24-20 lead for the Seminoles after the first quarter.
FSU couldn’t keep up the hot shooting in the second quarter. However, the Hokies actually shot even better in the quarter as they went 11-15 (73.3%) in the second quarter. Georgia Amoore nailed a half court heave to beat the halftime buzzer to give VT a 46-38 lead.
That shot seemed to give the Hokies a lift. They came out and smothered the Noles in the third quarter holding FSU to 3-14 shooting in the quarter. FSU did manage to go 8-8 from the charity stripe but Tech still widened the lead to 68-52 going into the fourth quarter.
From there the Hokies cruised to the 92-75 victory.
Morgan Jones led FSU with 24 points. Kourtney Weber had 14 while Sammie Puisis chipped in with 10.
This win for Virginia Tech was their first against Florida State in the last 10 games as FSU had a nine game winning streak against the Hokies before today.
Virginia Tech is known as a good shooting team and they proved it again today (56.4% FG, 47.6% 3PT). However, Florida State can’t give up 92 points and expect to win. Many of those points were due to VT’s hot shooting but the Seminole defense must improve. There were too many straight line dribble drives allowed and that can’t continue if FSU is going to break this three game losing streak.
Elizabeth Kitley simply dominated FSU in the paint. The 6’6 junior torched the Seminoles for 34 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Noles had no answer for her and Kitley’s performance combined with the hot shooting from her teammates doomed the Seminoles today.
Despite the score, Florida State did not play terribly in this game. Offensively, except for the third quarter FSU was pretty good. However, the Noles allowed the Hokies to win the battle of the boards (33-24). The Seminole defensive issues combined with the rebounding deficit proved too much to overcome in this game.
Florida State now has a three game losing streak and it is soul searching time. After the game Coach Sue Semrau remarked, “For us, we are a team right now that allows our offensive lack of production to affect us on the defensive end and it’s got to be completely different.” That is a pretty good diagnosis of the main problem.
Florida State is not a team that is going to win with offense right now. The Seminoles need to be a team that digs in defensively and then only allows one shot. FSU will not win games allowing 92 points and 56.4% shooting. Florida State also needs leadership right now. Every team goes through rough patches but the good ones have the fortitude to whether the storm. The third thing that the Noles need is better health. Bianca Jackson has been gutting it out the last few games on that gimpy ankle but she hasn’t had much (if any) practice time. Jackson is probably the most indispensable player on the roster right now and FSU needs her to be healthy and she simply isn’t 100% right now.
With the cancellation of the Kent State game it looks like FSU may have an extended period off to try to find some answers. That may be the best thing for this team as it appears that a reset is needed.
Florida State was originally scheduled to travel to Ohio to play Kent State on December 21st but that game has been cancelled. Assuming the Seminoles don’t find a replacement opponent, the next game will be December 30th on the road against Wake Forest. The game is scheduled to tip at 7pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.