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FSU’s inconsistent night leads to early exit in NCAA Tournament

Florida State’s up-and-down season ended in similar fashion — with a wildly inconsistent performance and an early exit in the NCAA Tournament.

The Seminoles shot just 27.3 percent from the floor, were outrebounded and turned it over 17 times. But they still ­were in it until the fourth quarter despite a sluggish start.

O’Mariah Gordon scored 12 points, making 6 of 6 shots from the free-throw line, and Makayla Timpson had eight points but FSU fell to Missouri State 61-50 in a matchup of No. 11 seeds in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night. The Seminoles’ season ends at 17-14.

“Obviously really disappointed,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. “Give all the credit to Missouri State. They played really hard defensively. Third quarter they came out and they really flexed some muscle. We didn’t respond.”

FSU stayed in the game in part due to its 75 percent free-throw shooting (18 of 24). Missouri State had a slim rebounding edge (45-41) but pulled down 19 offensive rebounds to generate 16 second-chance points. 

The Seminoles managed just 21 second-half points. On the night, they shot only 15 of 55 (27.3 percent) from the floor and 2 of 10 (20 percent) from 3-point range. All-ACC guard Morgan Jones also struggled, scoring just four points on 1 of 8 shooting.

Gordon had eight points and Sara Bejedi added seven points as Florida State survived an up-and-down first half that saw the teams knotted at 29.

Missouri State (25-7) led 14-1 with 3:49 left in the first period before Florida State recovered. The Seminoles went on a 19-0 run late in the first period and pulled in front 26-18, driving to the basket and hitting free throws to take control. But the Bears countered and tied it up at the half at 29-29 on a pair of baskets by Mya Bhinhar, who was one of four Bears in double figures.

Bhinhar scored 12 points to lead the Bears, who will play Ohio State on Saturday.

FSU’s River Baldwin had six points and eight rebounds. Gordon had five assists.

Box score

The FSU – Missouri State box score can be viewed here.