RALEIGH, N.C. (Seminoles.com) – The No. 13/13 Florida State Women’s Basketball team suffered a 68-51 loss to ACC foe No. 9/10 NC State on Thursday night at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Seminoles are now 4-1 against Top 25 teams this season.
Florida State struggled to match the Wolfpack’s physicality and toughness inside. NC State dominated in the paint outscoring the Seminoles 40-24 in what was the deciding factor of the matchup.
“We’ve got three seniors and no juniors that are healthy, so we’ve got a bunch of freshmen and sophomores,” said Florida State coach Sue Semrau. “When you get in the ACC, you need five players that are ready to contribute. And we don’t have it. We’ve got those three that are consistently good for us, and the rest of them, it’s kind of hit or miss.”
Wolfpack sophomore center Elissa Cunane, who leads the ACC in field goal percentage, led NC State with a double-double of 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor with ten rebounds. Her teammate, freshman power forward Jakia Brown-Turner, tallied 18 points for her career high. Florida State’s Kiah Gillespie led the Seminoles with in scoring, going 9-of-15 from the floor with 13 of her 22 points coming in the second half.
A staunch defensive performance from the Wolfpack limited the Seminoles to their fewest points scored in a half this season as they trailed 36-21 at the break. Florida State was shooting just 30.8 percent from the floor and 18.2 percent from the bonusphere through the first two quarters. FSU’s 51 points scored marked its season low.
After trailing by as much as 20 in the second half, the Seminoles gained momentum on the defensive end, limiting Cunane to just two points from the line in the fourth quarter and going on a 9-1 run with five minutes left to play to make it 59-47, cutting the deficit to 12. They shot a game-high 43.8 percent in the final period and out-scored the Wolfpack 17-16.
Sophomore guard Nausia Woolfolk, the Seminoles’ leading scorer this season, opened up the evening’s scoring with a jumper and added 12 points with four assists. Sophomore guard Kourtney Weber was 2-of-4 from the field off the bench and added five points with a pair of rebounds.
The Wolfpack limited senior point guard Nicki Ekhomu to just seven points with three rebounds and five assists.
NC State out-rebounded the Seminoles 38-to-34. Both teams earned eight points off of opponent turnovers and 11 second chance points, but the result of an unwavering defensive effort gave NC State the advantage in fast break points with 12 compared to Florida State’s four. FSU, the current ACC leader in free throws made and attempted, struggled from the line, shooting a combined 5-13 in the loss.
Florida State is back in action next Thursday, January 23, at 7 p.m. as they travel back to North Carolina to play Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra.