Florida State (17-14) was defeated by Missouri State (25-7) 61-50 tonight in the NCAA Tournament First Four in Baton Rouge, LA.
Missouri State came out of the gate like gangbusters. After an Abigayle Jackson jumper the Bears ripped off a 14-1 run to start the game. Makayla Timpson hit a layup on a nice post move to break the run. Timpson’s score sparked the Seminoles to a 6-0 run. From there the two teams traded baskets and MSU went to the second quarter with an 18-11 lead.
Florida State scored the last four points of the first quarter and they continued the hot streak in a big way starting the second quarter. FSU hit the Bears with a massive 19-0 run to take a 26-18 lead with 3:15 left in the second quarter. Ifunanya Nwachukwu broke the run with a layup and that score sparked MSU to an 11-3 run to end the quarter and tie the game at 29 going into halftime.
The Bears started the second half on an 11-2 run to earn some breathing room. Valencia Myers broke the run with a jumper. However, MSU ended the quarter on a 6-0 run and that let them take a 50-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
FSU smartly went inside to Timpson to start the fourth quarter and she responded with five quick points. However, midway through the fourth quarter Missouri State went on a 7-0 run to take a 59-46 lead with 2:42 left in the game. From there, the Bears sailed to the 61-50 victory.
O’Mariah Gordon was the only Nole in double figures with 12 points. Makayla Timpson had eight points and six rebounds while River Baldwin chipped in six points and eight boards.
The reasons for the loss tonight are easy to diagnose. Missouri State held the Seminoles to under 30%, won the rebounding battle and turned FSU over 17 times. The Bears did what they usually do and kept Florida State from doing what they wanted to do.
Florida State will now turn to the offseason. The only player on the roster who definitely won’t return due to being out of eligibility is Tiana England. Five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American Ta’Niya Latson will join the team next year. FSU may also be active in the always interesting transfer market.
Stay tuned to Tomahawk Nation as we keep you updated on Seminole basketball.