Florida State (16-3, 5-1 ACC) defeated #11 NC State (13-4, 3-3 ACC) by a 91-72 score tonight in Tallahassee, FL.
NC State started the game with a triple from Madison Hayes. From there Florida State took over. The Seminoles immediately went on a 14-2 run to take a 14-5 lead. FSU was getting layup after layup while the Pack was missing jumpers. Former Nole River Baldwin broke the run with a free throw but Florida State was able to maintain a working margin for the rest of the quarter. The Seminoles took a 28-19 lead into the second quarter.
Both teams came out a bit cold to start the second quarter but Diamond Johnson hit a three for the Wolfpack to cut FSU’s lead to six. The Noles answered with four straight points but the Pack came back with six straight to cut the Florida State lead to 32-28. The two teams traded baskets after that but Mariana Valenzuela nailed a triple with about a minute left to give the Noles a 40-33 lead. Florida State got a stop on the defensive end and then Sara Bejedi did this to give the Seminoles a 10 point halftime lead.
FSU continued the run to start the second half. The Seminoles scored the first 11 points of the second half to jump out to a commanding 54-33 lead. Diamond Johnson hit a three to break the run but FSU immediately responded with an 11-2 run that was capped by an Erin Howard triple. Florida State now had a huge 65-38 lead.
The Pack wouldn’t quit but they could never cut the lead to single digits as FSU cruised to the impressive 91-72 victory.
Ta’Niya Latson led the Seminoles with 31 points. Sara Bejedi had 21 while Makayla Timpson had another double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.
This was a remarkable display of basketball from Florida State against a quality NC State team. Latson was obviously spectacular. The Pack just couldn’t stay in front of her as she seemingly got into the lane at will. Bejedi proved that her breakout game against Boston College was no fluke. Bejedi has earned a starting spot on this team primarily through her defense. If she can perform like this offensively on a consistent basis she will take this team to another level. Timpson was massive inside complementing all of the firepower that the Seminoles have on the wing and in the backcourt.
Florida State beat the #11 ranked team in the nation in a game in which they only forced four turnovers. They also allowed the Pack 16 points off turnovers while only scoring two points off of NC State turnovers. The Noles also lost the second chance points battle (12-6), the fastbreak points contest (12-9) and only had 16 bench points to 47 for the Pack.
Yet the Noles won by 19 in a game in which they were never really threatened. How is this possible? The first key is that FSU ruled the defensive boards despite losing the second chance points battle. The point is not that FSU lost the battle, the point is that the Seminoles only allowed the Pack 12 second chance points.
FSU only allowed NC State to shoot 37.7% from the field. They usually shoot 45.8%. The Noles shot 55.6% from the field due in large part to how well they attacked the basket. So yes FSU only had six second chance points but they shot so well that there weren’t that many second chance points to be earned. The Pack also only had eight free throws. Florida State did a great job of defending without fouling.
This was a great win for Florida State on the court but it will also look great on the resume. This was a Q1 win. FSU is now 3-3 in Q1 games and 10-3 in Q1&Q2 games. Florida State is moving closer to the goal of hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State will host Louisville on Sunday. The game will tip at 1pm and will be broadcast on Bally Sports. The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker tonight in Blacksburg 81-79 to Virginia Tech.