Florida State has leaned on its three seniors in the early part of the season. The Seminoles also showed they have a talented freshman coming off the bench.
Forward River Baldwin scored a season-best 19 points and senior forward Kiah Gillespie added 13 points and eight rebounds as No. 8 Florida State cruised to a 70-41 win over North Florida on Wednesday.
Baldwin shot 8 of 10 from the floor, adding eight rebounds and three steals in 20 minutes.
“That was awesome,” Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. “And she’s so smart. She has great hands, great feet. She’s getting it. That’s exciting as a coach to know that she’s getting it.”
Florida State (11-0) has won 10 of their games by double figures and are on the verge of matching their best start in program history. The school record for the best start is 12-0 in 2004-05.
And the Seminoles were in front from the start on Wednesday. Florida State cruised to a 33-14 halftime lead, the fewest first-half points that the Seminoles have allowed this season. The Seminoles held North Florida to 15 of 53 (28 % ) from the floor.
Jazz Bond had 14 points and Adrienne Jackson added 11 points for North Florida (5-6). Bond made 4 of 10 three-pointers but the rest of the Ospreys were just 2 of 18 from beyond the arc. North Florida came into the game making 34 percent of its three-pointers but were held to just 21.4 % against Florida State.
Morgan Jones scored 11 points, making 5 of 7 shots from the floor, and adding five rebounds for the Seminoles. Florida State shot 28 of 66 (42.4 % ) from the floor but again struggled from 3-point range, making just 5 of 24 (20.8 % ).
The Seminoles have outrebounded their opponent in each game. Valencia Myers had nine rebounds for Florida State, which won the rebounding battle against the Ospreys by a wide margin, 55-24.
“Coach Sue stresses offensive rebounding,” Baldwin said. “That was a specific challenge for this game. We took it to heart.”
Florida State is 40-5 in its last 45 games against teams from the state of Florida. The Seminoles routed Jacksonville and defeated Florida in November.
The Seminoles play Michigan on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (ACC Network) at Uncasville, Conn.