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Breakdown: How FSU sliced up some ‘Cane in top-15 battle

Florida State won by 15, but the game was closer than that. Florida State is deeper, Miami more top-heavy.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Tallahassee, FL — The Florida State Seminoles beat the Miami Hurricanes tonight, with a final score of 81-66. Florida State won two-quarters, the first and third, and tied the fourth. Miami was down one at halftime, but walked into a… buzzsaw? They walked into a bad time. A really bad time. They got whooped by fourteen points, 28-14, and couldn’t really recover. Not ideal.

Besides that fourteen-point third quarter beat down, they were right there with this Florida State team. Miami looked flat out of the gate, and Florida State looked like the top ten team that they are, and that was pretty much all that was required. Isn’t it fun when it’s simple? One team plays like crap, the other team doesn’t, the latter team beats the former team. Or something. God, I wish wbbstate was up.

Anyway. Even without advanced stats, the regular “baby’s first boxscore” paints a clear picture: only two players in the starting lineup scored in double figures. One player had zero points in seventeen minutes. Jessica Thomas lead the team in scoring with 20 points, shooting 7-12 from the field and 4-6 from behind the arc. Adrienne Motley came in second in scoring for the Hurricanes, at 18, shooting 6-11 and 4-7 from three.

Miami relied heavily on Thomas and Motley; they played 36 and 35 minutes a game, respectively, and nobody in the starting lineup played more than 18, and nobody on the bench played more than 25. Florida State, on the other hand, had every player in their starting lineup play at least 22 minutes, and had three people crack the thirty-minute mark.

They also had two players on the bench break double figures. Florida State comes off as a deeper, more talented team overall, while Miami looks kind of top-heavy. That’s not a shot at Miami, but that hurt them in this game.

One more thing: Florida State took fifteen more shots than Miami. Fifteen. How the heck is that even possible? How do you shoot fifteen less times than your opponent? Miami’s efficiency kept them in the game, but shooting that few times (less than fifty times!) puts you behind the eightball.

They shot nearly 50% from three (9-19), and still lost by fifteen. It doesn’t help, too, that they shot 57% from the free throw line, nearly 20 percentage points lower than Florida State (76%).

Florida State is the better team; that was made clear. However, I do think that this game was closer than the score indicated, and had Miami come out with the same type of energy and fire in the third quarter as they did when they closed the gap in the second, they easily could’ve pulled off an upset. Hopefully, these two teams continue to play well, so that if they do meet in the ACC tournament, they’ll both be at full speed.