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FSU women pull away in ACC opener

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Florida State moved to 9-0 for the second time in three seasons in starting ACC play with an 81-64 victory over Clemson on Sunday.

Sue Semrau’s team had five players in double figures, headed up with 17 apiece from Sammie Puisis and Kiah Gillespie. FSU also got a double-double from 6-foot-5 freshman River Baldwin and took control right before halftime, eventually building a 20-point lead against a Clemson team that swept the Seminoles a season ago.

Still, Semrau was not happy with her team’s rebounding early against the feisty Tigers (3-7, 0-1 ACC).

“I felt like we handled their pressure well but didn’t rebound well” early on, Semrau said.

Florida State had 24 rebounds the first 20 minutes, just two more than Clemson.

When the Seminoles got more aggressive at chasing down the basketball the final two quarters, they were able to put away the Tigers. They outrebounded Clemson 41-35.

“We kept them off the glass in the second half and that was the difference,” the coach said.

Puisis, a freshman, had season bests in points and with five made 3-pointers. Baldwin, another freshman, had her career best with 10 rebounds and two of Florida State’s three blocked shots.

Florida State was swept by Clemson last year and looked to be in for another tough game when the Tigers went up 33-30 late in the second quarter on Kaylee Sticker’s 3-pointer. But Gillespie tied it and started a 7-2 run to the break for a 40-35 lead in the ACC opener for both teams.

The Seminoles had five players in double figures. Besides Puisis and Gillespie, Baldwin had 12 points, Nicki Ekhomu had 11 points and seven assists and Nausia Woolfolk had 10 points.

FSU has a long break for exam week. The Seminoles’ next game is on Dec. 15, at home against St. John’s at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.

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