No. 22 Florida State (12-4, 3-1 ACC) defeated Clemson (8-7, 1-2 ACC) by a 78-72 score today in Clemson, SC.
The Seminoles started hot hitting five of their first seven shots which allowed them to jump out to a 9-2 lead after a Makayla Timpson layup. Dayshanette Harris hit a three ball to break the run for Clemson. From there the teams mostly traded baskets as the Noles took a 23-18 lead into the second quarter.
It was the second quarter but it was also a quarter of threes as both teams hit a barrage of triples in the quarter. Timpson made the first bucket of the quarter with another layup but from there the next 13 baskets between the two teams were threes. However, Florida State hit more. The Seminoles hit eight of those shots from deep and enjoyed a lead. FSU took a 50-37 lead into the third quarter.
A beautiful drive and layup from Ta’Niya Latson gave FSU a 61-45 lead midway through the third quarter. Clemson answered with a bucket but from there the game slowed down until Amari Robinson got a putback and was fouled to bring the Tigers to within 11 at 61-50. Clemson continued the surge and eventually had an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 61-53 to end the quarter.
Ruby Whitehorn drove in for a basket to start the quarter for Clemson but Timpson answered with a nice post move to end the Tiger run. However, Clemson kept pushing and Mackenzie Kramer nailed a four point play to give the Tigers a 65-64 lead. O’Mariah Gordon hit a short jumper to finally give the Noles points and take beck the lead. From there the Seminoles were able to close out the game and leave Clemson with a 78-72 victory.
Head coach Brooke Wyckoff switched things up to start the game as Brianna Turnage replaced Alexis Tucker in the starting lineup. Turnage doesn’t score a lot but she rebounds and defends while doing so many of the little things that impact winning.
Amaya Bonner made the trip but did not play in the game due to a lower leg injury.
Both teams like to play fast and shoot lots of threes. The first half certainly followed this script but things slowed down in the second half. FSU also had a scoring drought that allowed Clemson back into the game.
We have discussed the issue that Florida State has with size. However, there is another side to that coin. If a team doesn’t have impactful size it is really tough to beat FSU as the Noles benefit from good wing play and they have exceptional guards.
It’s still early but with today’s win the Seminoles remain on track to secure a top four seed (and a double bye) in the ACC tournament which is one of the goals for the regular season.
Florida State will welcome North Carolina to Tallahassee on Thursday. The game will tipoff at 6pm and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.