Florida State (17-13, 10-8 ACC) fell to #3 NC State (27-3, 17-1 ACC) 84-54 today in the third round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC.
O’Mariah Gordon broke the scoring ice with a triple to put Florida State up 3-0. NC State responded with a 10-2 run that was capped by a Kayla Jones layup. Morgan Jones hit a jumper to break the run and the Noles were down 10-7. The Pack then hit FSU with an 8-1 run to jump out to an 18-8 lead. Sara Bejedi responded with a triple. From there the two teams traded baskets and NC State took a 22-15 lead into the second quarter.
The two teams started the quarter exchanging baskets. However, the Pack ended the half on a 10-2 run to take a 36-23 lead into halftime. FSU had only two points in the last six and a half minutes of the second quarter.
Midway through the third quarter NC State hit FSU with a 9-0 run capped by a Kai Crutchfield triple. That shot gave them a 52-30 lead. From there the Pack cruised to the 84-54 victory.
Sara Bejedi was the only Seminole in double figures with 21 points.
NC State is one of the very best teams in the nation. They will be a #1 seed and will be favorites to make the Final Four. It would be no shock if they won the national championship. Florida State was never going to win this game without a subpar performance from the Wolfpack.
However, as good as they are the Pack aren’t perfect. The only real Achilles heel that they have is that they really don’t have any true post players other than All-American Elissa Cunane. Florida State would have been better served by going into the post to whichever front court player was not being guarded by Cunane. Makayla Timpson or Valencia Myers against Jada Boyd, Kayla Jones or Camille Hobby in the post is a matchup that favors Florida State. That is probably the only matchup on the floor where the Noles had the clear advantage. FSU should have lifted whoever Cunane was guarding and played high-low with whoever was guarding the other frontcourt player. The Noles should have then exploited that matchup like it was a California gold mine in 1848. I’m not saying that any tactic would have won the game for Florida State but going after the Pack’s vulnerability down low (besides Cunane) would have benefited FSU.
Florida State did not play especially poorly in this game. However, NC State has too many weapons and the Seminoles simply could not match their firepower. The Seminoles will now return to Tallahassee and await their tournament fate.
Florida State will learn on Selection Sunday whether they have made the NCAA Tournament. ESPN currently has them in as one of the last four in the field. I will go into more detail soon in a future article on FSU’s tournament chances so stay tuned to Tomahawk Nation for more coverage of Florida State’s postseason.