Despite a strong surge in the fourth quarter, the Florida State women’s basketball team could not overcome its early hole vs. rival Florida, falling 69-55 on Sunday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The loss snapped FSU’s five-game win streak vs. the Gators (9-3), absorbing its first loss to its in-state foe since 2015.
Junior center River Baldwin produced her second career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the Seminoles (6-3) out-rebounded UF, 44-43, to continue their season-long streak of out-rebounding the opposition.
Early foul trouble, for a team that entered the matchup with the fewest personal fouls in the ACC, cost the Seminoles early. FSU also committed 23 turnovers, while Florida played a relatively clean game with just seven turnovers on the offensive end.
UF was led by three double-figure scorers: Emanuely de Oliveira (16 points), Kiara Smith (11) and Zipporah Broughton (11). One of UF’s top scorers, Lavender Briggs, was held to 2-of-13 shooting and four points.
Senior guard Morgan Jones completed her career-long eighth consecutive game scoring in double figures for FSU, compiling 12 points along with seven rebounds and three assists. Freshman forward Makayla Timpson added seven points and four rebounds in 22 minutes played off the bench.
Quality possessions were at a minimum as Florida defended with plenty of pressure both on the wing and in the post. UF capitalized in second-chance points with 17 and out-scored FSU, 18-5, in points off turnovers. UF also took advantage inside with 36 points in the paint.
Florida took a 38-24 lead into the locker room at halftime, then out-scored the Seminoles, 22-11, in the third to take a commanding 60-35 lead entering the fourth quarter. FSU was able to out-score the Gators, 20-9, in the final frame as Baldwin and Jones each added four points in the final quarter. FSU hopes to use its final quarter as momentum heading into its next matchup on Thursday.
FSU returns home next week starting with its Youth Basketball Night matchup vs. Houston at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Kids wearing their youth league or school jerseys can purchase tickets for just $3.
Santa Claus will also be working FSU’s Thursday night contest vs. Houston, and will visit with children until the beginning of the second half.