No. 15 Florida State (14-6, 5-3 ACC) was defeated by Virginia (9-9, 1-6 ACC) by a 91-87 score this afternoon in Tallahassee, FL.
Florida State started the game in frigid fashion. The Seminoles missed their first six shots from the field. Virginia would take advantage with an 11-1 run to start the game. FSU battled back and a pair of O’Mariah Gordon free throws cut the Cavalier lead to 22-20. However, a Jillian Brown triple would give the Hoos a 27-22 lead heading into the second quarter.
Florida State would come alive in the second quarter. Midway through the quarter the Noles hit UVA with a 7-0 run that was capped by a Ta’Niya Latson jumper. That run gave FSU a 39-35 lead. From there the teams traded baskets and the Noles went into the locker room with a 43-39 halftime lead.
The third quarter started the same way the game did with the Seminoles missing a lot of shots and the Hoos taking advantage. UVA jumped out with a quick 7-0 run that was capped by a three from Kymora Johnson. The Cavs grabbed a 46-43 lead. FSU responded with a 9-0 run that was capped by a Sara Bejedi three ball. From there the teams went back and forth. Bejedi hit a driving layup to end the quarter and pull the Noles even at 65-65.
The game stayed tight early in the quarter but midway through the quarter the Cavs went on a 6-2 mini-run to take a 79-72 lead. Gordon tried to bring the Noles back but FSU just couldn’t get stops. Gordon hit a layup with about seven seconds left to bring the Seminoles within two at 89-87. FSU had to foul to stop the clock but Johnson hit both her free throws to ice the game and the Cavs walked away with their first ACC victory by a 91-87 score.
Ta’Niya Latson led FSU with 22 points and six assists. Makayla Timpson had 21 points and seven boards. O’Mariah Gordon and Sara Bejedi had 17 and 10 points respectively.
Florida State lost this game due to getting dominated on the boards (48-30), and shooting poorly (5-26, 3PT). However, the biggest problem was that FSU just couldn’t get stops particularly at the end of the game when they really needed them.
For the second straight game the Noles allowed an opposing guard to go off against them. This time it was Kymora Johnson who scored 35 points. She averages 13 points.
FSU really needs to figure out these defensive issues. Yes, the Noles shot poorly. However, they shouldn’t need to have to shoot a great percentage to beat a team that was under .500 and winless in the ACC - especially at home.
There was one major bright spot for Florida State. The Seminoles only committed three turnovers as a team for the entire game. We are still checking but this is very likely a program record. I never thought that I would see a game where FSU only had three turnovers and still lose the game to a sub .500 team (at home) but here we are.
This was a brutal loss. FSU fell at least one seed line and maybe two seed lines based on this one game. Depending on results around the nation, Florida State is probably now a six or seven seed in the NCAA Tournament. They were about a four seed when the week began. This loss also damages FSU’s chances of finishing in the top 4 of the ACC and getting the double-bye. UVA was 76 in the NET before this game. The good news (if you can call it that) is that they will move up after this big road win. Therefore, this loss will probably be a Q2 loss for FSU right now so it won’t look so bad on the resume. The bad news is that UVA is not a good team. They could lose enough going forward that their NET slips and this loss could easily end up as a Q3 loss on Selection Sunday which would look really bad on the resume if FSU wants to get a top 4 seed.
However, the season is not over. This is still the team that beat North Carolina and Virginia Tech last week along with taking top five NC State to overtime in Raleigh. Also, there are still four remaining Q4 games left on the schedule with likely a couple more in the ACC Tournament. Therefore, there will still be plenty of opportunities to turn things around but FSU really needs to figure things out fast.
Florida State will travel to Durham, NC to face the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday. The game will tip at 6pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.