ATLANTA, Ga. (Seminoles.com) – Georgia Tech upset No. 17 Florida State, 65-62, in the Seminoles’ regular-season road finale on Sunday afternoon at the McCamish Pavillion.
The loss snapped Florida State’s (21-6, 10-6) five-game winning streak over the Yellow Jackets (18-10, 9-8) on the road. Georgia Tech was able to make nearly twice as many trips to the foul line, converting 15-of-23 compared to FSU’s 7-of-12.
Despite the loss, Florida State remains the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament. Florida State is tied for the fourth with Virginia Tech (10-6) and Boston College (10-6). However, with all three teams owning a 1-1-1 record against each other, the highest-ranked win in the standings belongs to FSU (defeated ACC leader Louisville).
“We didn’t rebound the ball the way we usually rebound the ball and it’s a heart thing. It’s a hustle thing. We didn’t have it,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said.
Georgia Tech senior guard Francesca Pan scored a 22 points on 22 shots, going 8-of-22 from the floor. Senior point guard Nicki Ekhomu had another relentless effort, scoring 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting. The senior leader had an off-balanced 3-point attempt to try and tie the game with two seconds left but it missed to give the Yellow Jackets the win.
After trailing by as much as seven in the opening quarter, freshman guard Sammie Puisis sunk a three pointer to ignite a 6-0 run that tied the game up, 17-17.
Ekhomu made the afternoon’s opening bucket and the buzzer-beating three-pointer that gave Florida State a 34-30 lead at the half. The Noles shot 50 percent for the first half, and held the Yellow Jackets to a 43.3 percent mark. It was FSU’s first game it lost this season when leading at halftime.
The Yellow Jackets regained a 49-47 lead with less than a minute left in the third. FSU began the final quarter down five, and Ekhomu made a jumper with exactly a minute left to play to cut the Seminole deficit to just one point. Georgia Tech out-scored FSU 22-13 in the decisive third quarter.
Sophomore guard Kourtney Weber contributed greatly off the bench, scoring 12 points. Weber provided an enormous first-half spark for the Seminoles.
Senior guard Nausia Woolfolk added seven points.
Senior forward Kiah Gillespie pulled down 10 rebounds and tacked on nine points. Freshman center River Baldwin added four points.
“I can’t tell you right now, I mean I don’t know. I’ve said it all year, we don’t rebound the ball the way that Florida State rebounds the ball- and that’s heart and desire,” Semrau said. “When you give them 11 second chance points compared to our three, that’s a problem. When you put them on the line and they make more free throws than you attempt, that’s a problem.”
Up next, Florida State will close out the regular season with a two game homestand, beginning on Thursday, Feb. 27 when the Seminoles’ host Clemson for their ‘Paint it Pink’ game. Fans can catch the matchup at the Donald L. Tucker Center at 7 p.m.