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No. 8 Florida State women stay unbeaten with win over Clemson

The Seminoles are 9-0 for the second time in three seasons.
Florida State guard Sammie Puisis, seen in a game against LSU last month, has 17 points against Clemson.
Florida State guard Sammie Puisis, seen in a game against LSU last month, has 17 points against Clemson. [ TYLER KAUFMAN | AP ]
Published Dec. 9, 2019

CLEMSON, S.C. — Florida State coach Sue Semrau sees plenty of things to improve for her eighth-ranked Seminoles, no matter how polished and poised they looked in their ACC opener.

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.

Semrau’s team had five players in double figures, headed by 17 apiece from Sammie Puisis and Kiah Gillespie. It 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.

“I felt like we handled their pressure well but didn’t rebound well” early, 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 ball 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 3-pointers. Baldwin, another freshman, had her career best with 10 rebounds, along with 12 points 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 the Tigers.

Florida State took charge the rest of the way.

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

Kendall Spray had 19 points off six 3-pointers to lead Clemson. Amari Robinson added 14 points for the Tigers.