Florida State (6-4, 5-4 ACC) defeated North Carolina (8-8, 3-8 ACC) by a 61-51 score tonight in Chapel Hill, NC.
Morgan Jones started out hot for the Seminoles scoring four straight points early. However, the story early on (and for most of the game) was the poor shooting of the Tar Heels. FSU held UNC to only seven points in the first quarter. The Noles were rebounding well and the rotations were good but the Heels just couldn’t hit a shot and Florida State capitalized with a 13-7 lead going into the second quarter.
The second quarter was similar to the first as the lid remained on the basket for Carolina. However, FSU wasn’t able to put the Heels away as the Seminoles struggled to generate transition opportunities. However, FSU did enjoy a 29-18 lead going into halftime.
In the second half the Noles started out strong scoring the first nine points of the half to go up 38-18. However, UNC battled back with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 38-27. Jones broke the run with a coast to coast layup. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and the Noles had a 48-35 lead going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter North Carolina continued to battle but the Heels were not able to get close as the Noles cruised to a 61-51 victory.
Bianca Jackson led FSU with 19 points. Morgan Jones had a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.
FSU has now beaten North Carolina six times in a row. UNC last beat FSU on Feb. 12, 2015.
Kourtney Weber missed the game due to an injury sustained in practice. She joins a long injury list for the Noles. Here is a quick rundown of the injury situation (information from FSU):
Due to a medical issue, graduate transfer point guard Tiana England has not played for FSU yet this season.
Although she was cleared to play through an NCAA waiver, junior forward Erin Howard (led Auburn in 3-point shooting, 3-point field goals made (45) and blocked shots (21) last year) has not yet played for FSU this season due to a knee injury.
Key defensive guard Amaya Brown opted out before the season started to continue rehabbing and strengthening her knee, which would not have been ready in time for the start of this season.
Veteran forward Savannah Wilkinson missed five consecutive games (Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Clemson, Georgia Tech) due to a foot injury. She returned last week at Wake Forest.
Key point guard Sara Bejedi has missed each of the last four games (Louisville, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest) due to a non-injury related issue. She also did not suit up in FSU’s season-opening win over Florida while waiting to get an eligibility waiver from the NCAA.
Since Dec. 20 against Pitt, FSU has suited up no more than nine players. In three straight games vs. Louisville, Clemson (double-OT win) and Georgia Tech, the Seminoles were only able to suit up eight players.
Florida State did not play a bad game but the story of the game was how inept the Tar Heels were offensively. UNC shot 19-69 (27.5%) from the field and 6-31 (19.4%) from three. FSU deserves some credit for the poor shooting from Carolina but the Tar Heels missed a lot of open shots as well.
Whatever the reason, FSU will take this win. The Noles really needed this game to keep their NCAA hopes alive. ESPN’s Charlie Creme had FSU as a 10 seed before this game. That feels about right. In any case the Seminoles need to keep winning to enhance their tournament profile.
Florida State will finish this four game road trip with a visit to Coral Gables to face the Miami Hurricanes (7-7, 4-7 ACC). The game will tip at 1pm on Sunday and will be broadcast on ESPNU.