Hurricanes’ third-quarter rally not enough to top Florida State

Junior guard Shayeann Day-Wilson shoots a jump shot during Miami's game against Florida State on Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

Miami traveled to Tallahassee looking to defeat the rival Seminoles and bring itself to a .500 record in the ACC. But the back-and-forth matchup ended in a 75-68 Florida State victory.

The Hurricanes came into the match with the second-best defense in the ACC, allowing only 58.2 points per game. The Seminoles, meanwhile, boasted the conference’s second-best offense, averaging 81.5 points per game. But in the battle between an unstoppable force and an immovable object, Florida State’s offense came out on top.

Despite the high final score, Miami’s defense had several bright spots. The ‘Canes held Ta’Niya Latson, the ACC’s fourth-leading scorer, to 15 points on 4-for-11 shooting. In addition, the Hurricanes scored 21 points off of 17 Florida State turnovers.

However, junior forward Makayla Timpson erupted for the Seminoles, dropping a 22-point double-double in 32 minutes.

As for Miami’s offense, the second unit led the way, with sophomore guard Lemyah Hylton and junior forward Latasha Lattimore combining for 29 of the team’s 31 bench points. The duo shot a combined 85.7% from the field and finished as the Hurricanes’ two leading scorers.

Miami’s starters, however, struggled throughout the game, amassing 37 points while shooting an abysmal 32.6% from the field.

Those struggles were especially evident in the first half, as the team shot 39.4% from the field and the starters combined for a mere 15 points. The lone bright spot was Hylton, as she posted 10 of the team’s 33 first-half points.

Despite a rough first half, the Hurricanes came alive in the third quarter, scoring 24 points, including a 12-0 run. During that quarter, the ‘Canes made two-thirds of their field goal attempts, including half of their three-point shots.

But Miami failed to translate its hot shooting to the fourth quarter. The team scored a paltry 11 points, making only one three-point attempt and going 29% from the field overall.

What ultimately won the game for Florida State was its ability to take and make free throws. The Seminoles got to the line early and often, making 13 of their 17 shots from the charity stripe, including six crucial makes in the fourth quarter.

Miami, meanwhile, failed to get to the line, attempting zero free throws in the fourth quarter. Overall, the ‘Canes shot only six free throws, making four of them. The team’s inability to get to the line was especially evident given its shooting woes outside of the third quarter.

The loss knocks Miami’s conference record to 4-6, plunging the team to 10th place in the ACC.

The Hurricanes will head back home for their next matchup, a Thursday night bout against ACC rival Clemson. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.