No. 19 Florida State (20-6, 9-4 ACC) fell to Miami (16-8, 9-4 ACC) by an 86-82 score tonight in Coral Gables, FL.
Neither team shot the ball well early. However, Miami dominated Florida State on the boards and that allowed the Canes to establish an early lead. FSU was also a bit sluggish on defense allowing a couple of transition buckets and a few layups inside. Nevertheless, the Noles took a 21-18 lead into the second quarter on the strength of some hot three point shooting (6-10 3PT in the first quarter) and Erin Howard’s triple to beat the first quarter buzzer.
In the second quarter the Noles earned a 32-22 lead after Sara Bejedi scored five straight to force a UM timeout. The run for FSU eventually grew to 9-0 before Haley Cavinder ended it with a triple. However, the Seminoles still went into halftime with a 44-33 lead.
Miami came out strong in the second half scoring the first nine points to cut the lead to 44-42. Jazmine Massengill broke the run with a three ball. The teams went back and forth from there but Ta’Niya Laston beat the buzzer with an acrobatic layup to give the Noles a 65-59 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Makayla Timpson started the quarter with a jumper to give FSU a 67-59 lead. Miami responded with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 67-67. The Noles answered with five straight points.
On Miami’s next possession, Bejedi knocked the ball away from Haley Cavinder and was called for a foul after both players dived for the loose ball. It was a questionable call (at best) and Brooke Wyckoff vigorously protested. Wyckoff was called for a technical foul. Haley Cavinder hit both free throws.
The Canes retained the ball and FSU got a stop but couldn’t secure the rebound. After a scramble Jasmyne Roberts hit a three to tie the game at 72 with 4:25 left in the game. Massengill was fouled and split a pair of free throws. Haley Cavinder hit a desperation three off the glass with the shot clock running down to put UM up 75-73. Bejedi then made a free throw. On the next possession Destiny Harden missed a jumper but Lazaria Spearman scored on a putback to put UM up 77-74. Bejedi was fouled after an offensive rebound and again she split a pair of free throws. FSU was down 77-75 and needed a stop. They played good defense but Haley Cavinder was bailed out by the whistle with 29 seconds left. She hit both free throws. Timpson answered with a quick layup. Miami did a good job getting the ball in to Haley Cavinder. FSU was forced to foul to stop the clock and Cavinder nailed both freebies once again. The Seminoles were down 83-79 with 15 seconds left. Latson missed a triple on the next possession and that was essentially the game. UM salted it away to earn a big 86-82 victory.
Makayla Timpson led FSU with 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Sara Bejedi had 13 points while Ta’Niya Latson and Jazmine Massengill had 12 each.
This game was decided in three areas. Miami had 18 offensive rebounds on the way to 47 rebounds total. Florida State had only 28 total rebounds. Miami also hit 11-22 from deep. Finally, FSU (the top free throw shooting team in the ACC) struggled from the line all night only going 10-20. The Canes were 21-25 from the line.
Florida State will be unhappy that they gave up 86 points to a team that was only averaging 72.7 before this game. The defense actually wasn’t bad. It was the offensive rebounds that really did FSU in tonight.
This loss is a Q1 game so from that standpoint it isn’t terrible. However, FSU is on the bubble for hosting in the NCAA Tournament. With this loss if the Noles lose in Blacksburg on Sunday they will probably fall to a five seed (only the top four seeds host) so this loss could end up being damaging. However, the schedule eases up after the Virginia Tech game as the last four games are against teams that are not really in the NCAA Tournament picture. If the Noles can avoid the upset in those games they will stand a good chance to finish in the top four of the ACC and earn the valuable double-bye in the ACC Tournament.
Florida State will head to Blacksburg, VA to face Virginia Tech on Sunday. The game tips at 2pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.