Florida State (6-6, 0-2 ACC) fell to Wake Forest (11-2, 1-1 ACC) tonight by a 75-69 score in overtime at Winston-Salem, NC.
Erin Howard came out strong for Florida State. Howard scored the first three points of the game for the Seminoles and finished with eight in the quarter. Bianca Jackson was also effective in the quarter playing her natural shooting guard position. Freshman O’Mariah Gordon started at the point guard spot. Howard hit a triple with the time running out in the quarter to give FSU an 18-14 lead going into the second quarter.
Howard’s three ball sparked the Noles to a 13-2 run that was capped by a three from Jackson. Florida State enjoyed a 28-16 lead with 6:39 left in the second quarter. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and the Seminoles had a 40-29 lead at the half.
Wake started the second half on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 42-37. The Noles responded with a 5-0 mini-run. The teams traded baskets from there and the Seminoles took a 59-49 lead into the final quarter.
FSU hit three free throws to start the quarter and then the wheels fell off. WF hit FSU with an 11-0 run over the next seven minutes to cut the lead to 62-60. Gordon made a brilliant steal and layup to break the run. However, the Deacons scored the last four points in the quarter to tie the game at 64 and send it into overtime.
Florida State’s ice cold shooting continued in the overtime as the Seminoles were outscored 11-5 and suffered their fourth straight loss.
Bianca Jackson led the Seminoles with 16 points. O’Mariah Gordon and Mikayla Timpson had 13 and 11 respectively. Erin Howard had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Morgan Jones, Izabela Nicoletti, Tiana England and Associate Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff didn’t make the trip to Winston-Salem and won’t be available for the next game at Syracuse.
Florida State started out well. The eleven day break seemed to have helped the Noles. The offense was generating good looks, the rebounding was solid and the Seminoles had active hands on defense. Howard gave the team a lift early compensating for the loss of Jones. Gordon was playing much more in control compared to earlier in the year. Her play allowed Jackson to transition to her more comfortable off guard spot and that move was paying dividends early.
And then they decided to play the fourth quarter.
Here are some relevant fourth quarter statistics:
- FSU scored five points
- FSU shot 1-10 from the field
- FSU committed seven turnovers
Florida State went ice cold in the fourth quarter. Wake went to a half court trap and the Seminoles struggled to handle to defensive switch.
I rarely discuss officiating but four of the turnovers that Florida State had in the fourth quarter were the result of questionable traveling calls where the official determined that an FSU player moved her pivot foot before dribbling. The questionable calls combined with the offense going into the tank doomed the Noles.
FSU has only played two ACC games so it is still early in the season. However, as Yogi Berra would say, “It’s getting late early”. If the Seminoles intend to make a return trip to the NCAA Tournament they need to get it in gear now. Wake has a gaudy 11-2 record but this was the Deacons first Power 5 victory so I’m not sure how good they really are. This loss could easily turn out to be a bad one for FSU when the resume is evaluated in March. However, that really isn’t a consideration right now. Florida State simply needs to get a win somewhere somehow.
Florida State travels to Syracuse to take on the Orange (8-5, 1-2 ACC) on Sunday. Syracuse was blitzed tonight 79-43 by North Carolina in Chapel Hill. The game will tip at 2pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.