TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Known as a team that shares the wealth pretty well, Florida State Women’s Basketball detoured from those plans tonight and let junior center Adut Bulgak take over as she scored a season-high 26 points in a 79-58 win over North Florida on Tuesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Edmonton, Canada, native recorded her sixth double-double of the season, adding 11 rebounds in what was a dominant inside-and-out performance from the versatile 6-foot-4 player. The former No. 1 JUCO Player in the country knew when it was time to go to work in the low post, and also drilled another 3-pointer to expose her all-around game. Bulgak finished 11-of-18 from the floor and notched her 26 points in 26 minutes of action.
Bulgak was well on her way to becoming the 19th Seminole to score 30 points in a game, but with the contest well in hand she was subbed out of the game with 7:49 remaining and FSU ahead 70-43. Entering the game ranked in the Top 15 nationally in double-doubles and field goal percentage, Bulgak accelerated those numbers and is now shooting 60.5 percent (69-of-114) through the first month of the season.
“She’s one of the best three-point shooters that we have,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said of Bulgak, who is 9-of-22 from long range. “We’ve got some good ones. Maeg’s a great one. Morgan Jones is a great one. But Duty’s shooting it. She’s shooting it great. We knew she could when she came in and we want to give her that opportunity.
“It’s a tough matchup. She’s scoring in about every way possible. She’s got the pull-up jumper, she scored off a layup. She scored off her back to the basket, a face-up three. I thought that was a tremendous offensive game for her.”
Florida State capitalized all night on inside scoring and second-chance points. The Seminoles (10-1) outscored the Ospreys (5-5) 40-20 in the paint and 23-8 on second-chance points. FSU kept its streak alive of having at least three players in double figures, as redshirt senior point guard Maegan Conwright and sophomore guard Brittany Brown each added 10 in the scoring column.
The Noles out-rebounded UNF 43-31, grabbing more boards than their opponents in all 11 games played this season. The victory over the Ospreys gives FSU a 14-1 record against Florida-based opponents since the 2012-13 season, and improves its series record against UNF to 4-0.
Florida State also stretched its home win streak vs. non-conference opponents to 20 games. FSU added 10 steals and 24 points off turnovers, bringing the Seminoles’ record to 9-0 this season when they collect 10 or more steals.
“It’s really fun,” Bulgak said of her experience with her new team. “Like coach Sue says, we don’t have to do it all by ourselves and we have a bunch of players that will come out and score in double figures every game. So it’s really helpful having people who can score and do a bunch of other stuff to help you.”
After a slow start that was caused by some smothering defense from the Ospreys, the Noles caught fire and took a 41-19 halftime lead. It was the fourth time this season FSU scored 40+ in the first half, as Bulgak led the Garnet and Gold with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting at the break. Over FSU’s last two home games against Florida and UNF, Bulgak scored 32 points in 33 minutes in the first half.
Bulgak’s 18 points were the most scored by a Seminole in the first half this season. She contributed to FSU’s 48.6 percent shooting from the field and added seven boards in the first frame. The Noles would finish the game shooting 43.5 percent from the floor (30-of-69) while UNF went 20-of-54 (37 percent).
Florida State’s first 10 minutes of action weren’t as smooth as the second 10. The Noles endured a rare shooting drought of 3:41 before Conwright broke loose for a fast-break layup to give FSU a 17-11 lead. From there, the scoring spree started as FSU scored 24 points in the final 8 ½ minutes, punctuated by an 11-0 run that made it 37-15 FSU.
Bulgak continued to work for good position in the post and got an easy layup to make it 39-17, and with one second in the half Emiah Bingley fought for a loose ball and drained a baseline jumper as time expired.
FSU would make seven 3-point field goals against UNF, tying for the second-most made 3-balls this season.
Friday night’s home game against Savannah State at 7 p.m. is both “Ugly Sweater Night” and “Mom’s Night Out.” Fans are encouraged to wear their ugliest holiday sweaters at the game, and mothers can purchase tickets on Seminoles.com and enter the promotion code “MOM” for a $7 ticket with one free drink.
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