Florida State (10-10, 4-6 ACC) fell at #3 NC State (20-3, 11-1 ACC) 68-48 tonight in Raleigh, NC.
Florida State got off to a fast start on the strength of a triple from Sammie Puisis and a jumper from O’Mariah Gordon. However, NC State responded with a 10-2 run that was capped by a three from Kai Crutchfield. Bianca Jackson came back with a three for FSU but the Pack hit the Seminoles with a 14-0 run that was sparked by three straight triples. Gordon scored on a jumper to end the quarter but FSU was still down 24-12 after the first quarter.
Jada Boyd started the second quarter with a triple for the Pack. Florida State answered with a 10-0 run sparked by a Sara Bejedi jumper. The Noles had battled back to within five at 27-22. Jakia Brown-Turner broke the run with a pair of free throws. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and FSU went into the half down 33-25.
The Pack took complete control in the third quarter with a 13-2 run to take a commanding 50-31 lead. River Baldwin broke the run with a jumper but the damage was done. FSU went into the fourth quarter down 53-35 and the Noles were not able to get closer than 10 points the rest of the way as they fell by the 68-48 final score.
O’Mariah Gordon led the Seminoles with 12 points. Morgan Jones chipped in with nine.
NC State is ranked third nationally for a reason. Elissa Cunane is an All-American in the middle and she is surrounded by great shooters on the perimeter. Coach Sue Semrau remarked after the game that you have to pick your poison against the Pack. FSU chose to concentrate on Cunane and that largely worked as she was held to 11 points and six boards. The problem is that the shooters around her stepped up. The Wolfpack was 11-23 from deep and that hot shooting sealed FSU’s fate.
In order to win this game the Noles either had to have an unbelievable performance, be the beneficiaries of a terrible game from NC State, or both. While the Noles didn’t play particularly poorly, they didn’t play great and the Pack played like a Final Four team.
There are now eight games left n the season. Florida State probably needs to win seven of them in order to feel reasonably good about a tournament bid. This will be a challenge to say the least.
The climb continues on Sunday when #20 Notre Dame (17-4, 8-2 ACC) visits Tallahassee. The game will tip at 2pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.