Ekhomu had a career-high 31 points and two teammates added double-doubles in FSU’s 103-67 win over the Trojans.
Curt Weiler, Tallahassee Democrat
No rest for the Seminoles.
About 42 hours after the FSU women’s basketball team closed out its 74-53 win over North Florida Friday night, it will be back in action again, this time with rivalry stakes on the line.
The Seminoles (2-0) welcome in the Florida Gators (0-1) for the annual Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown Sunday at 3 p.m. inside the Tucker Civic Center.
FSU still trails 44-35 in the all-time series against UF, but the Seminoles have won seven of the last nine versus the Gators and are looking for their fifth consecutive home win in the rivalry.
The Seminoles are off to a 2-0 start for the second consecutive season.
After coasting to an easy 103-67 win over Troy in its season opener Tuesday, FSU was up against a bit more of a test Friday night against UNF.
The Seminoles held just an eight-point lead over the Ospreys at the half before pulling away in the second half behind 17 points from redshirt junior forward Kiah Gillespie.
The Gators were shocked in their season opener Tuesday when they fell 60-58 at home against Gardner Webb.
Through two games, Gillespie is doing it all for the Seminoles.
She has put up double-doubles in each of FSU’s first two games this season after scoring 17 points and adding 13 rebounds against UNF.
Her 19.5 points per game this season are second-most on the team to point guard Nicki Ekhomu and she’s led FSU in rebounds in each of its first two games, averaging 12.5 per game.
That’s the seventh-most rebounds per game in the nation.
Gillespie first enrolled at Maryland after she was a McDonald’s All American in 2015, but she never emerged as a key contributor for the Terrapins.
She decided to transfer after her scoring went down from 5.1 points per game as a freshman to 4.1 as a sophomore.
With FSU replacing all five starters off last year’s team, Gillespie’s high-volume shooting has been much needed.
Her 32 shots through two games are nine more than anyone else on the roster and she’s hit 16 of them (50 percent).
It was known that FSU’s large freshman class was going to be needed to take on sizable roles from day one.
Preseason injuries to forward Iho Lopez and guard Sayawni Lassiter made this even more clear as the Seminoles entered the regular season with just eight healthy players.
Through two games, FSU’s four true freshmen have been heavily utilized — averaging 85.5 out of 200 available minutes each game — and have also been up to the task asked of them.
FSU’s four healthy true freshmen in Valencia Myers, Kourtney Weber, Amaya Brown and Morgan Jones are averaging a combined 31 points and 21.5 rebounds per game entering Sunday.
Myers was thrust into the starting center role and has been a force at both ends, averaging 13.5 points, nine rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.
Weber has started in each of FSU’s first two games and her three made three-pointers are second most on the team while Brown is averaging seven points per game and Jones has proven to be an innovative attacker on offense.
There’s no doubt the degree of difficulty will ramp up as the Seminoles close non-conference play and begin ACC play. Still, time will tell how much the large roles each of FSU’s true freshmen have been forced into will aid their development.
Florida State vs. Florida
When: Today, 3 p.m.
Where: Tucker Civic Center
TV/Radio: WatchESPN (Online)/106.1 FM