NOTRE DAME, Ind. (SEMINOLES.COM) — The Florida State women’s basketball team (9-7, 8-7) struggled to score early against ACC foe Notre Dame (10-8, 8-6) and, 72-64, in their regular-season road finale on Thursday evening at the Purcell Pavilion.
“We got off to a slow start and it took us too long to figure it out,” interim head coach Brooke Wyckoff said. “I’m proud of how we finished, but it’s the story of having to put four quarters together in this league.”
Although the loss against Notre Dame drops FSU to sixth in the ACC standings, the Noles will have a chance to grab the fourth seed and a double-bye in the ACC Tournament with a win on Sunday against Wake Forest and losses from Syracuse and Notre Dame.
Redshirt junior Bianca Jackson was the highlight of the game for the Seminoles. She scored 18 points on 7-14 shooting and 4-6 from downtown. Jackson scored 13 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter and shot 5-6 from the field while doing so.
Junior Valencia Myers had a solid performance on the road recording 13 points on 5-8 shooting, along with five rebounds and a steal. It’s the most points scored by Myers since scoring 14 points against Wake Forest on Jan. 28.
Junior Morgan Jones scored eight points and brought down a team-high seven rebounds in the losing effort. The performance was Jones’ eighth game this season with at least seven points and seven rebounds.
Junior Kourtney Weber led the team with six assists and scored five points against Notre Dame. Sophomore Sammie Puisis also performed well scoring 10 points and bringing down three rebounds in her fourth double-figure game of the season.
The Seminoles were able to outshoot Notre Dame from deep, 35 percent -21 percent, but the Irish had the advantage when it came to field goal percentage at 49 percent -38 percent. Florida State was outrebounded, 44-31, and was outscored in the paint, 38-14.
“We let them shoot really well,” Wyckoff said on allowing Notre Dame to shoot 49 percent from the field. “When you can’t get it going offensively, it affects your defense and that just can’t happen. It can’t be that way.”
Notre Dame hopped out to an eight-point lead early in the first quarter, but a three-pointer by Puisis and a made bucket from Jones brought the Seminoles back within three. The Irish went on a seven-point run to end the period and went into the second quarter up 17-7, which is the lowest-scoring first quarter for the Noles this season.
FSU gained traction in the second quarter with Jones making back-to-back field goals to open the period, which gave her six points and six rebounds through the first 13 minutes of the game. The Seminoles closed their deficit back within single-digits until Notre Dame went on another run to give them a 13-point lead at the half.
The scoring picked up for the Seminoles coming out of the break, as they scored more points in the third quarter than the first two quarters combined.
The Irish went on another scoring run to increase their lead to 18 points, but seven third-quarter points from Puisis kept the Seminole in the game at 52-39 entering the final period of the game.
Jackson started the fourth quarter strong for the Seminole with eight straight points to bring their deficit down to 15 points. Florida State had an 11-point run late in the game to bring the game within seven points, but it wasn’t enough for the Seminoles to pull off the comeback on the road.