Dec. 1, 2013
Oxford, Ohio (Seminoles.com) – A key closing stretch spear-headed by the Seminole defense allowed the Florida State women’s basketball team to escape with a 71-62 victory over Miami-Ohio on Sunday afternoon at Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio.
The Seminoles (6-1) outscored the RedHawks (1-5) 42-27 in the second half and ramped up the pressure on defense while dominating the boards on the inside. Florida State trailed by 10 with 14:17 remaining in the game, but used a big 12-0 run over the next four minutes to build momentum with a 48-46 lead.
Miami-Ohio held tough and used a couple free throws to cut its deficit to 62-61 later in the game, but the key stretch came when redshirt sophomore Morgan Jones recorded back-to-back baskets to give the `Noles some cushion at 66-61 with 2:24 left. From there, a couple free throws by senior Cheetah Delgado sealed the game with a 68-61 lead and just over a minute left.
“They put us in position where we were on the free-throw line a lot in the second half,” head coach Sue Semrau said following the game. “We stepped it up compared to the first half and was able to come out with a lot of energy and get another road win. We talk about bringing your own energy and I thought our increased trips to the free-throw line in the second half helped create more energy.”
Florida State’s aggressiveness in the second half on offense and defense was a key factor to Sunday’s win. The `Noles shot 15-of-19 from the charity stripe in the second half by getting to the basket and not settling for contested jumpers. Overall, Florida State out-rebounded the RedHawks 44-27, the sixth opponent it has out-rebounded this season.
Freshman forward Ivey Slaughter seemed to come up with every big rebound on defensive stops, totaling a career-high 15 boards to go along with 12 points. It was Slaughter’s third double-double of the season. Toledo, Ohio native Natasha Howard recorded her 29th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, coming up big in the game’s final 20 minutes. Howard is now two double-doubles shy of the school record of 31 held by Sue Galkantas (1981-84).
Freshman Brittany Brown led the `Noles with 16 points, burying a few big 3-pointers in the second half to aid FSU’s comeback. Florida State shot 37.3 percent for the game and allowed a season-high 10 3-pointers to the RedHawks, but used its big edge on the glass to help get 23 second-chance points.
The RedHawks tried to pull away leading 46-36 early into the second half, but FSU went on a quick 7-0 run led by Howard and the defense of Slaughter to make it 46-43 with 12:26 remaining. An intense couple of minutes followed as both teams traded 3’s, but Brown got hot with a few of her own to help FSU take a 56-52 advantage with just over 7 ½ minutes to play.
FSU tried to break away with four minutes to play leading 62-56, but Miami-Ohio came back with a 3 and a few free throws on their next possession to cut the FSU lead to 62-61. However, the `Noles got a couple key possessions from Jones as she hit a straightaway 15-footer then converted on a layup underneath to make it 66-61 with 2:17 left.
Miami-Ohio led Florida State 35-29 at halftime as it used six 3-pointers to its advantage. Florida State shot 10-of-31 while Miami-Ohio was 12-of-30 as half of its scores came from beyond the arc. Lauren Coleman’s career-high three treys aided FSU’s offense as it committed 13 turnovers that turned into 10 Miami points. The six-point deficit marked the first time FSU trailed at halftime this season.
FSU tried to find its rhythm offensively and held a 7-5 lead through the first media timeout with 15:43 left in the first half. Five of FSU’s points came by Jones as she drilled an open 3-pointer from the wing and finished a left-handed layup inside.
The `Noles struggled for quality looks inside against the RedHawks’ 2-3 zone and trailed 15-11 with 11:35 left in the first half. Miami-Ohio stayed patient on offense and nailed five of its first 10 shots, led by Nicole Anderson’s five points.
For the game, Hannah Robertson led four double-figure scorers for the RedHawks with 13 points.
Freshman Kai James stepped in and gave the `Noles a spark but they still trailed 20-17 with 7:39 remaining in the first half. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native came in and got a few buckets inside while altering a couple shots on defense. The `Noles were hurt by Miami-Ohio’s ability to keep offensive possessions and get second-chance points.
Needing a few big shots from the outside, Coleman came in and hit an open trey from the wing and later followed with a straightaway shot off the glass to tie the game at 24-24. Miami-Ohio was content with settling for shots from beyond the arc, with 13 of its first 25 field goals attempted coming from 3-point range.
The `Noles improve to 9-1 all-time against the current Mid-American Conference opponents, including 3-0 vs. Miami-Ohio.
FSU hosts No. 21/18 Michigan State at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).