March 8, 2019 - by
Sixth-Seeded Noles Lock Down Duke

BOX SCORE

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Seminoles.com) – The sixth-seeded Florida State Women’s Basketball team brought some junkyard defense to the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday night, shutting down No. 11 seed Duke 51-41 in an ACC Tournament Second Round matchup.

The Seminoles (23-7) held the Blue Devils (15-15) to just 29.3 percent shooting from the floor and out-rebounded a much taller Duke squad 42-28. Redshirt junior forward Kiah Gillespie led the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds – her 11th double-double of the season which ties for fifth on the FSU single-season list.

“I know Duke has been playing extremely well,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They won their last four, hit 12 3s last night. I thought our players did a great job of making sure they knew what the assignment was, what the game plan was and stuck to it the whole game. We didn’t shoot the ball extremely well but we rebounded it really well. I think that was the difference in the game.”

FSU corralled 13 offensive rebounds. Tenacious defending junior guard Nausia Woolfolk tied her career high with nine rebounds in addition to her 10 points scored, helping blanket Duke’s ball handlers all night.

Junior point guard Nicki Ekhomu had a strong game defensively against talented Duke sharp-shooter Miela Goodchild, who did not score and went 0-of-6 from the floor.

“I think our length on the perimeter was really — and the speed that we had — Morgan Jones is so long as a freshman,” Semrau added. “Nausia Woolfolk has such great athleticism. She had to play on (Haley) Gorecki a lot. And that put Nicki Ekhomu on Goodchild, and I thought she did a fantastic job.”

The victory by Florida State is its first against Duke in the ACC Tournament. FSU, which is ranked 22nd in the AP Poll, will face third-seeded and ninth-ranked NC State on Friday night at 8 p.m. in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals.

Freshman center Valencia Myers had another game-changing performance, adding eight points, four blocked shots and two steals. Myers’ 53 blocks this season is 11th on the FSU single-season list.

FSU wore down Duke in the second half, holding the Blue Devils to just 25 percent shooting (8-of-32) over the game’s final 20 minutes. Gorecki led all scorers with 17 points, but it came on 18 shot attempts.

Duke also registered just six assists on its 17 made field goals, and went 2-of-12 from long distance.

“That’s what we talk about every day,” Semrau said about FSU’s rebounding. “You don’t have to be tall to be a warrior. And we talked about toughness ever since the Clemson game. And these kids have continued to grow every single game.”

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