Florida State (12-2, 1-0 ACC) defeated Miami (7-5, 0-1 ACC) by a 92-85 score this afternoon in Tallahassee, FL.
The game started out tight but midway through the first quarter Mariana Valenzuela hit a triple to spark Florida State to a 10-0 run that gave the Seminoles a 19-7 lead with 4:25 left in the quarter. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and FSU ended the quarter with a 24-13 lead after a three pointer from Sara Bejedi.
FSU maintained an eight to ten point lead for most of the second quarter. However, Miami made a move halfway through the quarter. The Canes hit Florida State with a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 32-28. O’Mariah Gordon broke the run with a three ball. Miami scored five straight points to cut the lead to 35-33 but Erin Howard splashed a three to end the half. The Noles took a 38-33 lead into the break.
Howard’s three sparked the Seminoles to a 10-0 run. Destiny Harden broke the run with a pair of free throws but FSU still enjoyed a 45-35 lead. Harden’s free throws started a 9-0 run for UM that Bejedi broke with a jumper. From there the teams went back and forth. Florida State mostly controlled the game but the Noles could never pull away. Harden ended the quarter with a layup for the Canes but FSU still went into the fourth with a 63-57 lead.
The fourth quarter started with the teams trading buckets. However, FSU made a move with about seven minutes left in the game. The Seminoles hit UM with a 10-0 run that was capped by a Valencia Myers layup. FSU had a 78-62 lead with 4:43 left in the game. The Canes didn’t quit. They managed to make it somewhat interesting at the end but FSU was able to hold them off for the final 92-85 victory.
Makayla Timpson led the Noles with a career high 25 points along with nine boards and four blocks.
Ta’Niya Latson had 21 points and six assists. Sara Bejedi had 15 points and five assists but she also had seven turnovers.
Taylor O’Brien returned from injury to play 15 minutes. It was the first game for the senior since the Georgia State game on November 13th.
Florida State had one of the best shooting games that I have seen from them in quite a while. The Noles 30-58 (51.7%) from the field, 9-15 (60%) from deep and 23-25 (92%) from the line. FSU will win quite a few games with that kind of shooting.
Alternatively, Florida State was outrebounded again. This time the margin was 40-31. FSU is just not going to be a strong rebounding team this year. The Noles have many advantages but no team is perfect and rebounding will be an issue for the rest of the year. However, the Seminoles can compensate with strong shooting and defensive pressure. Miami was able to win the rebounding battle but the Canes don’t have a strong enough offensive post player to really trouble the Noles inside. FSU will be challenged by teams with both strong rebounding and post scoring. Fortunately for FSU that team isn’t Miami.
Florida State will take a well earned holiday break before traveling to Chapel Hill, NC to face the North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday, December 29th. The game will tip at 8pm and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Network.