February 7, 2019 - by
Seminoles Upset Ninth-Ranked Wolfpack

Box Score

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The No. 24/19 Florida State Women’s Basketball team (20-3, 8-2) defeated the ninth-ranked NC State Wolfpack (21-2, 8-2) in a thrilling 75-70 victory at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center on Thursday, marking the program’s 16th AP Top-10 victory in its history.

In a hard-fought battle, the Seminoles were led by their two most seasoned veterans – Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk.

“They [Woolfolk and Ekhomu] set the tone, they played through everything,” Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau said. “It was just a great, great team effort. I’m so proud of so many different contributions tonight. It’s a big win for us against a very good NC State team.”

Woolfolk led the Seminoles with 22 points, marking her third-best offensive outing of the season. Of her 22 points, 15 came from behind the arc, tying a career-high with five three-pointers.

Ekhomu followed with 20 points, while leading Florida State with six assists. Her 20-point contribution was her highest point total in conference play this season, besting her 17-point performance against Wake Forest on Sunday.

Redshirt junior forward Kiah Gillespie and freshman forward Valencia Myers both added nine points on the evening. Myers led the Seminoles with six rebounds and tied a career-high with five blocks. Redshirt freshman guard Sayawni Lassiter also posted a career number, tying her career-high with four rebounds.

The win marked the Seminoles’ 20th of the season, tying for the third fastest in program history to reach the 20-win mark. The other two came at the hands of Florida State’s last two NCAA Tournament Elite Eight teams in 2015 and 2017. Additionally, Florida State is now 9-0 in games decided by five points or less this season and is 3-1 against ranked opponents.

“This team is so fun to coach. Nobody expected it, but they did it and that’s a ball to coach,” Semrau said.

The Wolfpack opened the game on a 15-4 run, but the Seminoles responded with a 10-2 run of their own that featured eight straight points from Woolfolk.

Florida State opened the second quarter scoring eight consecutive points to take the lead. The two teams battled throughout the remainder of the half, but a jumper from Ekhomu with one second left gave the Seminoles a 29-28 lead at the break.

FSU is now 15-0 this season when leading at halftime.

The two sides played to an even 50-50 to end the third, with Woolfolk hitting a three with five seconds remaining in the quarter to tie the game.

Both teams continued to battle in the fourth, but the Seminoles ultimately pulled away. A 13-5 run by Florida State in the final three minutes of the game led the home side to victory. All but one of those 13 points came at the hands of the Seminoles’ three juniors.

The Seminole defense posted big numbers once again, forcing NC State into 16 turnovers while registering seven blocks and eight steals. The defense eventually fed into the offense, with Florida State registering 23 points off turnovers to NC State’s 14.

“They don’t stop on one end of the floor when the other end of the floor isn’t going well and that’s a mature basketball team,” Semrau said. “The fact that they have learned that and can put it into play against a Top-10 team is pretty impressive to me. We’re not done yet though, we’ve got lots of work to do.”

Florida State will look to remain unbeaten on the road when they travel to face the fourth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Edmund P. Joyce Center on Sunday, February 10 at 12 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

Related Articles