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No. 23 FSU women’s basketball bounces back at Georgia Tech

The Noles step up in crunch time.

Charles Mays

No. 23 Florida State (15-7, 6-4 ACC) defeated Georgia Tech (13-8, 4-5 ACC) by a 78-67 score this afternoon in Atlanta, GA.

Game Recap

The game was tight early but Ta’Niya Latson drove for a tough layup through traffic to give the Seminoles their first lead at 9-8. After that the game went back and forth. There were seven lead changes in the quarter. However, Florida State managed to take a 15-14 lead into the second quarter.

The second quarter began with three straight threes from O’Mariah Gordon, Inés Noguero and Carla Viegas. The Noles took a 21-17 lead after the shooting spree. From there the two teams mostly traded baskets and the score was tied at 33-33 at halftime. FSU was lucky to not be trailing as the Noles had 10 turnovers at halftime.

Makayla Timpson left the game in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury. With Timpson out of the game Georgia Tech hit seven straight shots (many in the paint) and took a 50-45 lead. Timpson returned with about five minutes left in the third quarter. However the Jackets were still able to take a 55-51 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Yellow Jackets managed to build a working lead in the game. However midway through the fourth quarter FSU hit GT with a 10-0 run that was sparked by a Latson layup to take a 67-60 lead. That huge run changed the game. Tech kept playing but they were never able to fully recover and Florida State cruised to the 78-67 victory.

Post Game

Ta’Niya Latson led Florida State with 33 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. O’Mariah Gordon chipped in with 12 points.

This was Latson’s 12th 30 point game as a Seminole which is a program record.

Kayla Blackshear who had 22 points against Florida State in Tallahassee missed this game due to injury.

Latson had 17 points in the fourth quarter. She was a huge factor in Florida State winning the fourth quarter 27-12. Latson showed today why she is regarded as one of the very best guards in the nation. She got to the basket at will and when fouled she hit her free throws.

FSU went to a zone in the fourth quarter. This seemed to confuse the Jackets. The Noles don’t play zone often and it didn’t look like GT was ready for it. Latson’s fourth quarter heroics were the main reason FSU came back in this game but the effect that the zone had on the game shouldn’t be minimized.

Florida State had 15 bench points. FSU really needs some production from the bench and they delivered today. Sakyia White was particularly productive and that was crucial when Makayla Timpson had to leave the game due to injury.

It is impossible to overstate how much FSU needed this victory. This was a massive win on many levels. Of course the three game losing skid is snapped. The Seminoles are still in reasonable range for a top four ACC finish and the double-bye in the ACC Tournament. This was FSU’s fourth Q1 win.

Georgia Tech is not a great team. They are not in NCAA Tournament consideration. However, the Jackets aren’t terrible. Florida State needed to play reasonably well to beat them especially on the road and the Noles got it done. This is huge for the postseason resume but it is also huge for the confidence of the team. It is also important to note that they got this win by stepping up in crunch time. They earned it.

Florida State is now seventh in the ACC. There are eight ACC regular season games remaining on the schedule. Six of those games are against teams that currently have losing records in conference play. There is an opportunity for the Seminoles to make a move and end up in the top four of the conference. We will see if they can seize it.

Next Game

Florida State will host Miami next Sunday morning at 11am. The game will be broadcast on the CW.