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Noles fall at Clemson, 72-69

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Posted at 10:11 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 22:11:51-05

CLEMSON, SC — CLEMSON, S.C. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team (2-1, 1-1) suffered a 72-69 loss to ACC foe Clemson (7-1, 2-1) on the road Thursday night at the Littlejohn Coliseum. It is the Seminoles’ first loss of the season.

“Obviously it was a really tough one, the way it came down to the end like that,” FSU Interim Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff said. “The girls were really disappointed. But honestly, it was a great learning lesson for us. I told them after the game, ‘This is the ACC. Every single possession is going to be a battle. They’re not going to give you anything easy, they’re not going to make it look like how you want it to look. We’ve got to adjust and continue to work.”’

Junior Kourtney Weber led the team in scoring with a career-high 21 points on 7-11 shooting, while also posting three rebounds and three steals. This is the first time in her career that she’s scored in double figures in three straight games.

Weber was also 5-5 from the free-throw line tonight, which is a new career-high for her in free throws made and attempted.

Sophomore River Baldwin and junior Morgan Jones also had stellar performances for the Seminoles, as Baldwin was able to score 12 points, which tied her career high in ACC play, while also bringing down four rebounds. Jones scored 13 points, along with posting a season-high nine rebounds and two steals.

Even though the Seminoles led in considerably wide margins for categories such as free throw percentage, 89%-50%, and second-chance points, 17-5, Clemson was still able to outshoot FSU from the field at 45%-36%, along with scoring 15 fast breaks points compared to FSU’s six. The early turnovers also hurt the Seminoles in this game, as they committed seven turnovers in the first quarter.

The Seminoles started out rough by going down 10-2 early in the competition, but Baldwin was able to cut the deficit to four with a made layup and a pair of free throws. The Tigers were able to maintain the lead throughout most of the first quarter, but the Seminoles kept it close at the end of the period only being down by six.

The Tigers jumped out early again in the second quarter with their lead expanding up to 10, but a 12-2 run by the Seminoles, highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by Weber and sophomore Sammie Puisis, knotted the game back up at 27 apiece. The scoring went back and forth for the rest of the period and the score was tied 36-36 at the half.

The Seminoles came out with more physicality in the third quarter, with eight of their 14 points in the period coming from the free-throw line. Clemson was able to build another big lead late in the third, but FSU was once again able to cut it down to a one-possession game entering the fourth.

The scoring shifted back and forth at the start of the fourth quarter with no lead being more than five points. With six minutes left in the game, Weber drained a three-pointer to give Florida State their first lead of the game, but Clemson was able to respond with back-to-back baskets.

The score was tied 69-69 with 36 seconds left to play, but Clemson was able to get to the line and make crucial free throws late in the game. The Noles had an opportunity to take the lead with eight seconds left in the game, but a three-point attempt by Puisis was just off the mark and Clemson was able to secure the win at home.

The Seminoles will look to rebound from this game in another conference bout against Pittsburgh at the Donald L. Tucker Center this Sunday at 2 p.m.