Dec. 7, 2002
TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball team erased an 11-point deficit with seven minutes to play to notch its first road win of the season with an 82-78 victory at South Florida Saturday night. With the win, the Seminoles improved to 5-1 while the Bulls fell to 4-3 on the year. FSU senior Trinetta Moore recorded her first career double-double with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds.
“I just want to compliment the USF effort out there,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They did a great job shooting the ball tonight and had a great game-plan against us. They kept hitting the big shots in the second half. For us, when our defensive intensity picked up, we started to get our transition game going and that really helped us. And then rebounding, we definitely had an edge on the boards with our size.”
The Seminoles scored first and had a 12-5 lead early, but South Florida came storming back with six unanswered points to pull with 12-11 at the 13:32 mark. Moore kept the Seminoles on pace with a career-high 14 points in the first 20 minutes and FSU led by as many as eight at 23-15. Three straight three-pointers got the Bulls fired up and South Florida went on to take its first lead of the game at 36-35 with 2:32 left in the first half. FSU scored just four points in the final 4:34 of the half and the game was locked at 39-39 at halftime. FSU senior Katelyn Vujas was a force on the boards and had 10 rebounds in the first half to lead the Seminoles to a 27-15 advantage. Both teams shot well. USF shot 50 percent and had three players lead the way with seven points apiece. FSU shot 46 percent but was plagued by 14 turnovers.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw two ties and four lead changes, but South Florida began to pull away when the Bulls scored eight unanswered points, including two three-pointers, to take a 62-54 lead with 8:40 to play. The Bulls built its largest lead of 11 at 67-56 with yet another trey with 7:22 on the clock. The Seminoles began to turn things around when Moore, who played just 10 minutes in the second half, came back into the game. FSU hadn’t hit a field goal since the 10:44 mark but had made four straight free throws. Down 10 at 68-58, Moore snagged one of her seven defensive rebounds and then hit a jumper. She went 2-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the final 6:40 of the game. FSU trailed nine at 72-63 with just under five minutes to play and the Seminole defense held the Bulls to no field goals the rest of the way. USF’s final six points were off of free throws as the Seminoles outscored the Bulls 17-6 the rest of the way. FSU hit its free throws down the stretch as well as 11 of its last 17 points came from the charity stripe.
Florida State shot a season-high 76 percent from the free throw line on 29-of-38 and completely dominated the boards, finishing the game with a 52-29 advantage. Vujas led the way with a game-high 13 rebounds. LaQuinta Neely and Lauren Bradley also tallied double figure with 12 and 10 points, respectively while Tasheika Morris added nine points and nine rebounds. Four players scored in double figures for South Florida with Aiya Shepard leading the way with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought our kids played hard and with a lot of heart and with a lot of intensity against a pretty good basketball team,” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said. “Florida State is a pretty good basketball team. They’re well-coached and did a good job. They didn’t stop fighting, they didn’t stop competing.”
Florida State will not compete next week in order to take final exams but will return to action on Sunday, December 15th at Akron in a 2 p.m. contest. USF’s next game is at IUPUI on December 19th.