Feb. 15, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Seminoles’ second-half flurry wasn’t enough to down North Carolina on Wednesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Florida State women’s basketball team cut a 14-point second-half deficit to 2, but ultimately couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 71-66 to the Tar Heels.
“What’s frustrating is that we haven’t figured out it’s a 40-minute game and I think the team feels that way, too,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “I think we have allowed a lot of distractions, whether it be a distraction of a trap, whether it be a distraction of a changing defense, whatever it might be…we have allowed that to let the other team capitalize. That’s the result you’re going to get, and it’s a good and a hard lesson to learn.”
The Seminoles (13-14, 5-8 in the ACC) trailed 60-46 after a layup by North Carolina senior post Chay Shegog with 10:15 to play.
The Tar Heels (18-8, 8-5) didn’t make another field goal until 2:46 remained in the game, allowing FSU to storm back to within 4, 62-58, on a pair free throws from senior center Cierra Bravard.
FSU forced UNC to miss 11 straight shots during that stretch in the second half.
The Tar Heels escaped with the victory by hitting free throws down the stretch.
A three-pointer by junior guard Leonor Rodriguez closed the gap to 68-66 with 20 seconds left. UNC’s Krista Gross answered by drilling a pair of free throws to make the score 70-66.
Junior guard Alexa Deluzio missed a jumper with 11 seconds left, and Tar Heel wing Tierra Ruffin-Pratt split a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to clinch the game for UNC.
The Seminoles dug themselves a hole in the first half, as North Carolina held a 20-10 edge on the glass and a 10-0 lead in second-chance points before the break. UNC attempted 37 shots compared to just 19 field goal attempts for the Seminoles, and led 42-29.
“I think you have to really compliment North Carolina,” Semrau said. “They struggled in some areas and they got after it on the boards. That’s not something we didn’t talk about, but they got after it on the boards. We dug ourselves into quite a hole and weren’t able to dig ourselves out.”
North Carolina senior guard She’la White caught fire from behind the arc drilling four treys in the first 20 minutes. Her third three put the Tar Heels up 35-21 with 3:31 remaining in the first half, and her fourth trifecta gave UNC a 40-26 advantage just over a minute before the break.
North Carolina raced out to an 8-1 lead to start the game. Florida State responded by going on an 11-3 run to take its only lead, 12-11, on a pair of free throws from Bravard at the 12:39 mark in the first frame.
Bravard didn’t start for just the third time this season, but she finished with 19 points and matched her season-high with 11 free throws made.
After FSU’s took the lead, the Tar Heels scored 15 of the game’s next 17 points and grabbed a 26-15 advantage at the 7:40 mark in the first half after three consecutive layups by Ruffin-Pratt and Laura Broomfield.
FSU made it a game in the second half after Deluzio kissed a jumper off the glass while getting fouled and converted the free throw to bring the Noles within 7, 60-53, with 7:46 remaining in the contest.
Bravard made 3-of-4 free throws over the next 3-and-a-half minutes to close the gap to 4.
The Seminoles return to action this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Coral Gables, Fla., when they face No. 6 Miami. The game will air live on RSN.
For more information on the Florida State women’s basketball team follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball.