Feb. 24, 2011
|Players of the Game|
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The No. 12 Florida State women’s basketball dropped a hard-fought ballgame to No. 14 Miami Thursday night in Coral Gables, 84-68.
Undefeated on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference but going up against a Hurricanes (25-3, 11-2 ACC) squad that came into the game 19-0 at home, FSU (22-6, 10-3) looked to be in position to put an end its host’s streak midway through the second period.
But foul trouble, Miami’s offensive rebounding ability and the loss of two starters didn’t help. Senior guard Christian Hunnicutt went down with a sprained left knee in the first half and didn’t return and freshman forward Natasha Howard fouled out just prior to a late ‘Canes run to victory.
“That was a battle just like any FSU-Miami game is in any sport,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Losing Christian put us out of rhythm a bit but credit Miami for getting a big win.”
All-ACC candidate Courtney Ward put the Seminoles on her back, playing a complete game without checking out for the second contest in a row.
Ward finished the evening with a team-best19 points and team-best six rebounds. Junior forward Cierra Bravard scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the year.
Sophomore forward Chelsea Davis registered 12 points and six rebounds and true freshman guard Tay’ler Mingo played the most minutes of her career as she came in for relief of Hunnicutt. Mingo scored two points and had a steal and rebound.
Redshirt sophomore guard Alexa Deluzio posted seven points, four rebounds and three assists while Howard scored six points and had four rebounds before fouling out.
Miami had just 19 fouls compared to FSU’s 32. The Hurricanes had 21 offensive rebounds and won the overall rebounding battle 47-45. Florida State shot 37 percent from the field and held Miami to the same shooting clip.
The ‘Noles built a 52-44 advantage midway through the second period and looked to be on the way to victory thanks to a hot-shooting hand by Ward.
But Miami chipped away and took the 59-58 lead with 6:32 left to play. The Seminoles would keep it within a few points for a few more moments but couldn’t stop Miami’s final push.
Miami held a 30-28 lead at halftime.
Florida State’s next game is the regular-season finale against Clemson on Sunday at 2 p.m. Fans are encouraged to come out and celebrate the careers of seniors Ward and Hunnicutt.
In addition to thanking the two senior four their four years of hard work, the program is also thanking the fans for their support. Semrau has been out in the community in recent days distributing free tickets. Fans can still pick up free tickets in the marketing office at FSU or at the women’s basketball offices.
“Our crowds are so great,” Semrau said. “I would love to see the stands packed for these two seniors on Sunday.”