NEW ORLEANS, La. (Seminoles.com) – The sophomore duo of Brittany Brown and Ivey Slaughter each recorded double-double efforts in a workmanlike performance as the Florida State Women’s Basketball team scored a 65-54 road win at Tulane on Monday night at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Slaughter recorded her career-high in points with 21 on 8-of-9 shooting and added 10 rebounds for her 12th career double-double. The Macon, Ga., native may have played her most productive game of her career when FSU needed it most, throwing her body all over the floor and making plays at both ends of the court to give the Noles a strong boost.
Brown notched her first career double-double and her fourth consecutive double-figure game. The Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native was 6-of-12 from the floor for a season-high 14 points, a career-high tying 11 rebounds and two steals. Brown was relentless once again defensively and continues to be assertive and work herself into the offensive game plan.
“We played great defensively tonight against a very good Tulane team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “To allow them to shoot just 31.7 percent is impressive. I’m proud of the way our sophomores in Brittany Brown and Ivey Slaughter stepped up and led us to a very good win.”
Not to be forgotten was freshman Shakayla Thomas’ 15 points off the bench, as she went 6-of-8 from the floor and added six rebounds. No matter where she caught the ball, Thomas always found ways to finish underneath against a Tulane team that entered the game with a strong interior defense.
Although Florida State’s (12-1) 65 points are well below its 81.3 per-game average coming in, it tied for Tulane’s most points allowed this season. FSU held the Green Wave (9-2) to just 31.7 percent (20-of-63) from the floor, including 23.1 percent (9-of-39) in the first half. FSU shot 43.3 percent (26-of-60) from the floor.
A critical point in the game came when Tulane’s Chinwe Duru made an off-balanced layup to cut FSU’s lead to just 52-44 with 9:39 left and the Green Wave stealing the momentum. Tulane made it another eight-point deficit on free throws by Tiffany Dale, making it 54-46 FSU. That’s when the Noles used an important 9-0 run that included very good ball movement to give Slaughter a couple buckets in the paint and extend FSU’s lead to 63-46 with 3:47 left.
Florida State continued its streak of winning the rebounding battle, totaling 50 boards for its second-most this season while Tulane had 35 on the glass. Included in that were 16 offensive rebounds that kept possessions alive. FSU generated 17 second-chance points compared to Tulane’s eight.
A 15-foot jumper by Thomas after some good ball movement from the Noles helped them take a 45-28 lead with 15:54 remaining in the game. A quick start to the second half was needed and FSU traded baskets with Tulane back and forth before getting a few consecutive points thanks to a reverse bucket from Slaughter and some added offense from Brown.
FSU relinquished its lead and was trying to hold onto a 53-44 lead with 7:39 remaining in the game. Tulane started to found holes in FSU’s defense as Tiffany Dale led its comeback charge.
Florida State used a much-needed 7-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 36-21 halftime lead. The half ended when Maegan Conwright grabbed a rebound with five seconds left, pushed the ball to the left wing where Emiah Bingley hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. A greater cushion for the Noles was necessary with Tulane’s aggressive half-court trap that forced 16 FSU turnovers.
Slaughter was the catalyst in the first half on both ends of the floor, finishing the first 20 minutes with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting with six rebounds. Thomas added eight points off the bench as FSU shot 53.6 percent and held Tulane to just 23.1 percent from the floor.
From the get-go it was a physical battle between the two teams with strong defensive play. Good-look chances were at a minimum but Brown was able to get the scoring started with a mid-range jumper from the wing, and Slaughter provided some toughness inside with good rebounding and a finish in the lane as it was 4-2 with 15:55 left in the first half.
Brown sparked a quick 5-0 run for FSU when she finished off the left side for a three-point play, and later Slaughter took a steal for a full-court layup to give FSU a 13-6 advantage. The Noles tried to beat an effective half-court trap from the Green Wave as it took the seven-point lead into the second timeout.
FSU carried a 21-15 lead into the third media timeout with 6:51 remaining in the first half. Thomas stepped up off the bench and found position inside for six points, while FSU continued to force turnovers and generate six fast-break points.
The Seminoles have about a week off for the holiday break before returning home on Monday, Dec. 29, when they host Jacksonville at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The game is “Family and Fellowship Day,” where fans can get $3 admission with their fellowship bulletin by simply showing it at the box office on the day of the game.
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