The Florida State Seminoles women’s basketball team started this season off on fire, winning nine of their first 10 games. It’s something they have done in all but one year since the 2012-13 season, and in that lone season they didn’t start 9-1, they still began with an 8-2 record.
The Seminoles beat St. John’s to pick up their ninth win on the season, and fifth win in a row, after their lone loss against the LSU Tigers. Of the last seven seasons, they have won nine of the first 10 games five times, eight games once, and last season jumped out to a spotless 10-0 start.
After loosing much of their production from last season’s team, the Florida State women were seeking new leadership coming into this year. They have found it early with redshirt junior Kiah Gillespie in her first season in the ACC after spending the last two seasons at Maryland. Through 10 games, she is averaging 17.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and shooting over 52 percent from the field for head coach Sue Semrau’s team.
Nicki Ekhomu has been important as well, averaging 13.1 points, four rebounds and a team-high four assists. The junior leads the team in minutes and steals so far in 2018.
Nausia Woolfolk has stepped up her game so far this season as well, raising her scoring average to 12.6 points per game, up from 8.6 last season as a sophomore, which included scoring a game-high 25 points as the ‘Noles knocked off the 14th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes to win the Junkanoo Jam tournament. She is also averaging 3.9 rebounds and is second on the team with 28 assists (2.8 per game).
Gillespie isn’t the only newcomer to bring production. Freshman Valencia Myers has been a force down low, averaging 10.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. Myers was the 63rd-ranked player in the 2018 recruiting class, according to ESPNW’s HoopGurlz.
In their ninth win of the year against St. John’s, it was Gillespie who led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds, and it was all needed with the Red Storm storming back from a 14-point deficit to pull within three points in the last minute.
Ekhomu was the only other Seminole scoring in double-figures with 12 points while also adding four rebounds, four assists, and four steals in a team-high 35 minutes. Ekhomu and Myers combined for a rough shooting day though, going a combined four-of-24 from the field. Though Myers only scored three points on one-of-nine shooting, she did grab seven rebounds and block five shots.
This was the second consecutive game that came down to the end for the ‘Noles. Against Mercer on Dec. 5, Florida State took a one-point lead on a Ekhomu jumper with two minutes remaining in the game. They then held the Bears scoreless for the rest of the game to sneak away with the victory. Ekhomu led the way in that one with 27 points.
This Florida State women’s basketball team will get some rest with an entire week off to travel home to Tallahassee before they face Creighton on December 16 at Donald L. Tucker Center, a team that has won their last three games heading into Sunday’s matchup.