No. 23 Florida State (23-8, 12-6 ACC) was upset at Clemson (16-14, 7-11 ACC) by a 74-61 score today.
The game was tight in the first quarter. Erin Howard started the game for Florida State with a triple but after that the Noles struggled to shoot. Neither side could maintain much of an advantage but Hannah Hank nailed a three ball to end the quarter and give Clemson the 18-15 lead going into the second quarter.
Florida State continued to look sluggish in the second quarter. Clemson took advantage with an 8-2 run capped by a three from Ruby Whitehorn. The Tigers led the game 34-28. Brie Perpignan hit a pair of free throws to give Clemson a 38-30 lead going into halftime.
The Tigers continued to extend the lead in the third quarter. A putback from Amari Robinson gave Clemson a 52-39 lead. FSU just couldn’t sustain any consistent offense due to the ice cold shooting. The Seminoles were shooting 33% from the field and only 2-15 from deep. The Noles would heat up. Mariana Valenzuela capped an 8-0 run with a layup to cut the lead to 52-47. However, Clemson scored the last five points of the quarter to take a 57-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
Amari Robinson started the fourth with a triple for the Tigers. However, FSU responded in fine fashion with a 11-0 run to cut the lead to 60-58 and force a timeout from Tiger coach Amanda Butler. Nevertheless, Clemson had an impressive response. The Tigers scored 14 of the last 17 points of the game to take the 74-61 victory.
Makayla Timpson led Florida State with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sara Bejedi had 12 points for the Noles.
Florida State struggled in the first half with poor shooting and eleven turnovers. The Noles really cut down on the turnovers in the second half and the shooting was slightly better. However, Clemson continued to shoot well and the Seminoles could never completely close the gap.
FSU had a mostly miserable shooting day and that was the difference in the game. The Seminoles were 34.9% from the field and were 5-25 from deep. In the last two games Florida State is 6-38 from behind the arc.
This was a crushing loss. The Noles lost by double digits to a team that they beat by 31 points in Tallahassee. Florida State also loses the double-bye in the ACC Tournament. FSU now probably needs to make the ACC Tournament final to be able to host games in the NCAA Tournament.
All is not lost as FSU still has enough talent to make a run in the postseason. However, the Noles really need to hit their open shots. If they continue to shoot this poorly their postseason run will likely be shorter than expected.
Florida State will be the five seed in the ACC Tournament. FSU will play the winner of the Wake Forest/Georgia Tech game on Thursday at 11am. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.