CORAL GABLES, Fla. - It was a clash of the Sunshine State ranked rivals Sunday afternoon when the Florida State Seminoles (16-4, 6-1) went head-to-head with the University of Miami Hurricanes (17-3, 5-2) in an ACC matchup. Florida State stayed hot as they snuck away with a 69-58 victory in the Bank United Center.
With bragging rights and conference records on the line, the first quarter was all that it was expected to be, high paced and physical.
"The toughness, and grit, and the fight in both teams just showed what a great rivalry it is. And what a great job that both programs have done to move into a position with national prominence," FSU Head Coach Sue Semrau said.
The Hurricanes drew the first punch after Keyona Hayes nailed an elbow jumper that would soon be quickly answered by the Seminoles. Adrienne Motley propelled Miami's offense as she caught fire from beyond the arc drilling two back-to-back three-pointers giving the Hurricanes a 5-8 advantage.
Miami's use of multiple defensive strategies throughout the game stifled FSU's high-octane offense, but would only be enough to slow them down. It was all FSU for the rest of the quarter as they jumped out to a 17-12 lead all thanks to pushing the ball out in transition.
The second quarter would be no different from the start of the game, fairly evenly played but this time, would result in three lead changes. The Hurricanes received their first lead of the game since the three-minute mark in the first quarter when Motley hit a mid-range jumper.
FSU retaliated with a 6-0 run that was halted when Miami went on an 8-0 response building a 29-24 lead. With fewer than fifteen seconds remaining in the half, Leticia Romero knotted the game at 31 headed into the locker room.
The momentum carried into the third quarter for FSU when they jumped out to a seven point lead, but Miami refused to go away stringing together a pair of baskets to close the gap down to three.
The sloppy play resulted in Miami switching to a full-court press that caused FSU to force uncharacteristic turnovers and stumble their offensive production. Though it was FSU's defensive side of the ball that kept their composure as they forced 21 Miami turnovers.
"We do a drill almost every other day and its possession awareness. It's two minutes left in the game, and we are down eight we got to execute, and we do it all the time. We have two basketballs if you turn one over you only have one left, you lose that one you lose," Miami Head Coach Katie Meier said.
Hayes's 18-point performance tried to get things going for Miami the final 10 minutes of play but was outlasted by FSU rebounding efforts and offensive execution. The Seminoles use of clock management to finish out the game diminished the Hurricanes' hopes.
However, they wouldn't go away. Motley's long three-pointer pulled Miami within five right before Brittany Brown fired back swishing a three of her own. The Seminoles capped off the win with a trip to the free throw line as the final buzzer horned.
Florida State had four players to finish in double digits. Romero lead the way for FSU finishing with 19 points and 6 assists, followed by Shakayla Thomas's 15 points and 8 rebounds. Motley charted a game-high 20 points for Miami.