TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) — An electric performance from junior Morgan Jones pushed the Florida State women’s basketball team (5-2, 4-2) to a 95-88 win in a double-overtime thriller over Clemson (8-5, 3-5). The Seminoles were able to avenge their loss to the Tigers from earlier this season and even the season series against their ACC rival at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles have now won 32 of their last 36 against the Tigers and 16 of their last 18 against them at home. They are also now 26-20 in overtime games in their program’s history.
“This was a huge win for us,” FSU Interim Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff said about tonight’s double-overtime victory. “No matter how it happens, we love winning in the ACC. It’s never easy and I just couldn’t be prouder of the grit that this team had tonight.”
Jones had a historic night against Clemson, scoring a career-high 36 points and bringing down a career-high tying 11 rebounds. Her 36 points ties Tia Paschal (March 6, 1993 vs. Maryland) for the sixth-most scored in a single game in program history. It was also the most points scored by a Seminole since Natasha Howard delivered a school-record 40 points at Syracuse on Feb. 13, 2014.
This is also Jones’ sixth time scoring double-digit point totals in seven games this season, as well as the second time she’s scored over 20 points in her career.
“I had the same drive from the start. Wanting to win and doing whatever I had to do to win,” Jones said about her performance in the nail-biting home win tonight. “I just kept that [drive] the entire game, even in the double overtime.”
Sophomore Sammie Puisis was another key contributor in tonight’s game, as she played all 50 minutes and scored a career-high 18 points, along with hitting five three-pointers from the field. This was the most threes she’s made in a game since earlier this season against Virginia Tech when she hit five from downtown. This is also her fourth game this season with multiple three-point field goals made.
Redshirt junior Bianca Jackson was the third Nole tonight to score double-figures with 18 points, along with six assists and three rebounds. Sophomore River Baldwin was also a presence off the bench, as she put together an impressive night of nine points, eight rebounds, three assists, and a career-high six blocks.
“I think we have a really balanced team. I think that when we’ve had players that haven’t been able to step up, other players have,” said Wyckoff about the depth of the team this season. “They all have talents offensively and ways to impact the games on the offensive end.”
Florida State was able to shoot 50 percent (33-66) from the floor and recorded a season-high 18 assists.
Puisis started the game strong with back-to-back threes to help build an early 12-6 lead for the Seminoles. Clemson stormed back with a 6-0 and were able to tie the game late in the first period, but another pair of threes from Puisis, who had 12 of the 23 points scored by the Noles in the quarter, gave FSU a five-point lead heading into the second period.
The Tigers started to find their rhythm again coming out of the break with a seven-point run, but the Seminoles were able to quickly respond with a six-point run of their own. Jackson was able to put together a couple of buckets, including an and-one free throw, to close the half with the Seminoles leading 37-33.
Jones went on a scoring tandem coming out of the half, scoring five straight field goals for the Seminoles and 12 total points in the third quarter. Another three-pointer and made jumper by Puisis late in quarter gave FSU a 10-point cushion over Clemson going into the final period.
The Tigers did not go gently into the night, as they made another run of eight points to keep things close early in the fourth quarter. Clemson’s Delicia Washington scored nine points early in the period and was able to tie the score at 69 apiece with 2:27 left in the game. A made layup and an and-one bucket by Jones put the Noles up five points, but the Tigers were able to come back from that deficit and tie the game with a three-pointer to force overtime.
In overtime, FSU had another lead after Jones drained consecutive free throws with 28 seconds left, but Washington scored again late for the Tigers to tie the game and force double overtime. The second overtime period was all Seminoles with the team scoring nine straight points to open the period. Clemson was never able to recover, as the Noles went home with the win at home.
FSU travels to face Georgia Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.