CANCUN, Mexico (Seminoles.com) – An off-shooting performance by the Florida State Women’s Basketball team coupled with some timely offense by Washington led to an 80-68 loss to the Huskies in its first game at the Cancun Challenge on Thanksgiving afternoon at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya Hotel.
The Seminoles (4-1) contained one of the country’s most explosive scorers in sophomore Kelsey Plum to just 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting. However, second and third options Jazmine Davis (24 points) and Chantel Oshahor (15 points) made big buckets for the Huskies (3-1) as FSU could not find consistent rhythm on offense.
Florida State was whistled for 26 fouls against a perimeter-oriented team in Washington, its most since committing 32 personal fouls at Miami on Feb. 24, 2011. The Huskies took advantage with 37 trips to the free throw line and converted 29 of them, while FSU was only able to get to the charity stripe 15 times and made 10 freebies.
FSU’s 37 free-throw attempts allowed to the opposition is also the most since facing Miami in 2011, when the Hurricanes also had 37 attempts.
Freshman Shakayla Thomas was a force off the bench again, collecting her first double-double with 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. Senior point guard Maegan Conwright was one of the Seminoles who played very well defensively against Plum, who opened her season with 45 points against Oklahoma. Conwright had 12 points, four steals, three assists and just two turnovers, and has reached double figures in the scoring column in all four of her games played.
Conwright has also made multiple 3-point field goals in every game she has played, hitting two on Thursday. Sophomore Ivey Slaughter added 12 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Brittany Brown had a season-high 13 points and two steals.
FSU was held to 27-of-78 (34.6 percent) from the floor, and just 4-of-17 from 3-point range, both season lows. It held Washington to 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) and 7-of-27 from beyond the arc. The Noles outscored Washington 44-20 inside the paint, but UW’s timely perimeter jumpers and ability to draw fouls proved to be too much. FSU also held a slight edge in rebounding, winning the battle of the boards 47-45 including 17-9 on the offensive glass. The Noles took care of the basketball for the most part, committing a season-low 10 turnovers but forcing well below its season average at 13.
Every push FSU made in the second half, UW found a way to respond. Conwright’s second 3-pointer of the game with just under 15 minutes left cut the deficit to 48-39, but UW came back with four quick points on a free throw from Plum and a 3-ball from Oshahor. From there, FSU never got within single digits.
The Noles endured a rough first half that was punctuated by a late 17-5 run by Washington to give the Huskies a 38-26 lead heading into the intermission. Guard Jazmine Davis scored 15 points while Kelsey Plum was held scoreless after being whistled for two fouls in the early going.
A straightaway 3-pointer from Conwright from about 25 feet tied the game in the first half at 21-21. But a few untimely possessions on the offensive end and a few baskets by the Huskies put their lead at 28-21 until Lauren Coleman converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 3:36 left. Consecutive long-range jumpers by Talia Walton and Davis put UW up 36-24 to highlight its big run.
Slaughter led the Noles with seven points and six rebounds at the half, while Conwright added five points but was sent to the bench with two fouls. FSU struggled from the field, hitting 11-of-41 and just 2-of-11 from beyond the arc through the first 20 minutes.
FSU continues the Cancun Challenge on Friday when it faces Furman at 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya Hotel.
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