Florida State (7-6, 1-2 ACC) routed Wake Forest (12-4, 2-3 ACC) today in Tallahassee 87-46.
FSU started out hot jumping out to a 17-5 lead after an Erin Howard triple. Wake responded with a 6-2 mini-run but the Seminoles were still able to build a 21-13 lead entering the second quarter.
Early in the second quarter FSU hit WF with an 11-2 run that was capped by an O’Mariah Gordon jumper. The Seminoles enjoyed a 32-17 lead after the run. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and the Noles took a 44-28 lead into halftime.
The Noles were determined to not allow another lead to slip away. Christina Morra started the second half with a layup for the Deacs but the Seminoles responded with a huge 18-0 run to blow the game open. Mariana Valenzuela capped the run with a jumper to give FSU a 66-32 lead.
From there the Seminoles never looked back on the way to the 87-46 beatdown.
Florida State employed a balanced attack as 11 players scored in the game. Valencia Myers led the Noles with 12 points. Morgan Jones and Makayla Timpson chipped in 11 apiece.
Bianca Jackson was not available today due to health and safety protocols.
Sammie Puisis sank her 100th collegiate three pointer in this game.
Yesterday afternoon the game time was shifted from 2pm to noon for television convenience.
FSU won the rebounding battle 38-24. However, the most impressive statistic of the game (other than the final score) may have been that the Noles held Wake to 35.6% shooting for the game without sending the Deacons to the line. Wake did not shoot a single free throw all game. FSU was 13-15 from the charity stripe.
I never thought that FSU would be able to beat another ACC team by 40 without Jackson. O’Mariah Gordon and Sara Bejedi combined for 17 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds and only three turnovers. It was a virtuoso performance by the two point guards. This may also pay dividends down the road because if these two can continue to play at even close to this level it will allow Jackson to move back to her more comfortable shooting guard position. That would very likely make the team more consistent offensively as well as enhancing the rotation.
This was a great win for Florida State but make no mistake, the Noles really needed this win after the four game losing streak. It’s a little early to get into NET rankings and quad wins but FSU is still very much on the wrong side of the bubble right now regarding the NCAA Tournament.
However, the team was picked fifth in the ACC in the preseason for a reason. There is a considerable amount of talent on the roster. The team has had to battle injuries and Covid so things have been rocky so far in the season. If they can maintain a little bit of stability it is very possible that this team could get on a winning streak that could carry them to the Tournament. Also, the tournament selection committee has said that they will consider whether teams had players missing due to Covid when assessing resumes. It’s obviously impossible to know exactly how that will affect things on Selection Monday but given what FSU has had to deal with this year it can’t hurt.
In any case, the Seminoles earned a big victory when it was needed the most and they breathed life back into a season that was threatening to go sideways. Now we will see if they can keep the season going on the right track.
Florida State will travel to #16 Georgia Tech (10-3, 1-1 ACC) on Thursday. The game will tip at 8pm from Atlanta and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.