RALEIGH, N.C. – The No. 22-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team was down 12 points with 9:24 left in the game, but never flinched against NC State on Sunday at Reynolds Coliseum.
The Seminoles came all the way back to grab and 82-74 victory over the Wolfpack.
The Noles trailed 68-61 when senior guard Leonor Rodriguez buried a three-pointer with 4:59 left in the game that helped spark and incredible 19-2 run.
When the dust cleared, Florida State improved to 15-3 overall on the season and 5-2 in the ACC. The Wolfpack fell to 8-11 and 0-7 in the conference.
“That was a heck of a game,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “You can throw the stat sheet out today. It really doesn’t mean anything to me today. It was all about our growth, our character and our heart. Lex (Deluzio) made a huge jump in her career today.”
Deluzio shot just 2-of-10 in the first half, but finished with 15 second-half points and 19 for the game.
Rodriguez scored a game-high 21, while senior forward Chelsea Davis tallied her second double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) in three games. Junior forward Natasha Howard tallied 12 points, four steals and two blocks.
The Seminoles shot 83 percent (33-of-40) from the line.
Deluzio was fouled attempting a three with 3:56 left in the contest. She made all three free throws to make the score 70-67.
Howard blocked NC State post Kody Burke’s layup attempt 20 seconds later and Davis connected on a layup to bring FSU within a point.
Davis took a charge on Krystal Barrett with 3:13 left and put the Seminoles in front for the first time since midway through the first half with a pair of free throws at the 2:56 mark.
A steal by Howard led to a running layup by Rodriguez that made the score 73-70 with 2:18 left.
The Wolfpack missed a pair of three-pointers over the next minute and Davis made another layup with 58 seconds left to make the score 75-70.
Junior Cheetah Delgado split a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left, but senior guard Morgan Toles came up with an offensive rebound and was fouled. She hit both free throws to ice the game and give
FSU a 78-70 advantage at the 30-second mark.
“We found a defense that we liked and focused in on it,” Semrau said. “We made some poor decisions in some of our defense in the first half and we didn’t do a good job with the personnel we had. We really overcame that in the second half. It was great to pull out the win.”
FSU shot just 32.3 percent from the field in the first half but trailed by just 2, 35-33 at the break.
NC State used an 11-4 run midway through the final frame to take a double digit lead. A layup by Markeisha Gatling gave NC State its biggest lead, 63-51, at 9:24.
Florida State made its first trey of the game at 9:01 when Deluzio made a three from the corner.
The 5-11 Orlando, Fla., native made another three at 7:26 to make the score 67-59.
“The first half I definitely struggled,” Deluzio said. “The second half, it was all about my mentality and forgetting about the first half. I focused on the team and not myself. We needed big plays and we made them when we had to.”
Dribble, Dish & Swish Event
Florid State will host the inaugural Dribble, Dish and Swish Event on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 12:30 p.m. The free event will be held in the FSU Basketball Training Center and is open to boys in the sixth grade or younger and girls eigth grade and younger. Participants will be put through a fun skills competition and the top scores of each age group will win some great prizes to include gear, tickets, gift certificates and more. After the event, all participants are invited to attend the FSU Women’s Basketball game at 2 p.m. against Virginia Tech for free. For questions contact Nicole Haves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page.