TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team received several contributions on Monday evening as it cleared its bench in a 73-46 victory over Jacksonville at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
All 11 student-athletes who were active earned time on the court in the Seminoles’ (13-1) final non-conference matchup of the season. The win marks the fourth time FSU has finished the non-conference portion of the regular season with just one loss since joining the ACC in 1992.
Sophomore guard Leticia Romero made her FSU debut off the bench and showed off her wide range of skills. The Las Palmas, Spain, native finished the game with six points, six assists and six rebounds in 20 minutes of play, effectively running an offense that she has practiced with since early October.
“I thought for someone who was thrown into the fire – yes she briefly practiced with us – I thought she stepped in and was seamless,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said of Romero. “She could have shot the ball a little more but she did a great job dishing it out.”
Redshirt junior guard Morgan Jones finished with a game-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting while nailing all three of her 3-point field goal attempts. Florida State managed to have five double-figure scorers for the third time this season. Jones also had four rebounds and three assists, proving to once again be a key facilitator for the offensive attack.
Getting big minutes off the bench was freshman center Ama Degbeon, who didn’t disappoint. The Grunberg, Germany, native had a career-high 11 points and showed her ability to get to the basket when she got touches in the paint. Sophomore Brittany Brown finished with 10 points, nabbing double figures for the fifth consecutive game.
Redshirt senior guard Maegan Conwright added 12 points, and freshman Shakayla Thomas made her first start of the season and finished with 10 points. Thomas started in place of sophomore forward Ivey Slaughter, who sat out Monday’s game following a minor head injury.
The Seminoles extend their win streak to nine consecutive games, tying for the seventh-longest in program history. FSU also stretched its non-conference win streak at home to 22 straight games.
Florida State shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the field and made eight of its 17 3-pointers, its second-highest this season. The Noles held Jacksonville to 30 percent shooting (18-of-60), the fifth straight game an opponent’s shooting percentage has gone lower. The Noles held a 20-7 advantage in points off turnovers but were outscored in the paint for just the second time this year, 30-28.
Junior center Adut Bulgak continued to clean up the glass, posting her eighth double-figure rebounding game with 10 boards. FSU out-rebounded Jacksonville, 46-33, and has out-rebounded each of its first 14 opponents this season.
Florida State put the clamps down late in the first half to take a 40-26 advantage heading into the locker room. Despite getting outscored in the paint 22-10, FSU used six 3-pointers to its advantage to get itself out to the 14-point lead.
Jones notched her fifth double-figure scoring performance of the season with 10 first-half points, draining two from long distance. Brown followed with eight points, which include two from long range, as FSU shot 15-of-32 from the field and 6-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Jones helped FSU take its first double-digit lead of the game when her second 3-pointer from the right wing gave the Noles a 30-18 lead with six minutes left in the first half. Thomas’ turnaround jumper swelled the advantage to its largest of the first half at 16, making it 36-20 FSU with 3:03 left. Romero capped the first half with a pretty pull-up jumper inside the paint to give FSU 40 points, the sixth time the Noles have scored 40 or more in the first half.
Making her first start of the season, Thomas was also effective for the Seminoles as she chipped in with eight first-half points on 4-of-6 from the field.
Florida State opens up ACC play at No. 4 Notre Dame on Friday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m.
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