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FSU women’s basketball surges past Virginia

It was a tale of two quarters.

Charles Mays

Florida State (17-4, 6-2 ACC) defeated Virginia (14-5, 3-5 ACC) by a 77-68 score tonight in Charlottesville, VA.

Game Recap

The teams started the game mostly trading baskets. However, midway through the quarter a Makayla Timpson layup sparked Florida State to a 10-0 run that gave the Seminoles a 15-11 lead. Yonta Vaughn nailed a buzzer beating triple to pull Virginia to within one at 17-16 going into the second quarter.

The teams went back and forth in the second quarter as neither side could maintain a strong lead. However, Taylor O’Brien finished off the quarter with a pair of free throws and the Noles went into the locker room with a small one point lead at 38-37. Then things got wild.

Florida State actually scored six of the first eight points of the second half to take a 44-39 lead on the strength of a jumper from Ta’Niya Latson. Then the Seminoles went straight into the cooler. FSU would miss the next 12 shots from the field. The cold streak allowed the Hoos to go on a massive 21-8 run that completely flipped the game. McKenna Dale hit a pair of free throws to cap the run and give UVA a 60-47 lead. However, O’Mariah Gordon ended the quarter with a huge three ball to cut the lead to ten at 60-50.

Then they played the fourth quarter.

Camryn Taylor started the quarter for the Hoos with a layup. Then it was all FSU. Timpson answered with a layup and that sparked the Noles to a 9-0 run. UVA coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton called quick timeout to stop the momentum. It didn’t work. Florida State scored the next nine points after the timeout to take a 68-62 lead. McKenna Dale ended the epic run with a pair of free throws but the damage was done. The Noles scored the next six straight points after the free throws to take a 74-64 lead to effectively end the game. FSU cruised from there to the 77-68 victory.

Post Game

Ta’Niya Latson and Sara Bejedi led the Noles with 15 points each. Makayla Timpson had a strong game with 14 points, 10 boards and six blocks.

Ta’Niya Latson scored her 500th career point tonight.

Latson now has 501 points in her Florida State career.

Florida State really could have crumpled in this game but they were able to battle back after the dismal third quarter performance. I call it dismal (and it was on the scoreboard) but FSU’s offense was generating good shots. They just weren’t falling. The Seminoles displayed a lot of maturity to keep their heads up and continue to chip away at the lead. It also helped that they got off to such a strong start in the fourth quarter. That gave them momentum for the rest of the period.

UVA is not a great shooting team. The Hoos are only hitting .285 from deep for the year yet they were 6-12 in the first half from three. FSU was able to whether that storm and the terrible third quarter to win the game in the fourth quarter.

Virginia is a much improved team from last year when they stumbled to a 5-22 record. However, the Hoos don’t have FSU’s talent especially considering that their best player (UConn transfer Mir McLean) is out for the year with a knee injury. Yet winning on the road in the ACC is never easy. ACC road wins are like golden nuggets. They are rare and valuable. Florida State got one of those nuggets tonight and it was a big win.

This was a Q1 win and that gives FSU a 4-3 record in Q1 games (11-4 in Q1 & Q2 games). It always looks good on the resume to have a winning record in Q1 games.

Next Game

Florida State will host the Pitt Panthers on Sunday. The game will tip at 2pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.