Jan. 27, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State women’s basketball team made only one three-pointer on Friday night at Reynolds Coliseum, but it came at the perfect time.
Junior Leo Rodriguez broke a 64-64 tie by swishing a 25-foot three-point bomb with 1.1 seconds left to give the Seminoles an important 67-64 road victory over NC State.
“I knew I needed to make that shot for our team after we played so hard all night,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t even jump after I made it, I just thought, `praise God.'”
Rodriguez had her best game as a Seminole, scoring 11 points to go along with a career-best nine boards and six assists in 35 minutes.
She and sophomore reserve guard Olivia Bresnahan (five points and three assists in a career-best 32 minutes) picked up the play-making duties for junior point guard Alexa Deluzio, who played only two minutes in the second half after suffering a right ankle sprain.
“We saw heart tonight, we saw workhorses, we saw a team that would never quit,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “When Alexa went down everybody just stepped up.”
With 32 seconds left in the game NC State’s Myishia Goodwin-Coleman came up with a steal and made a layup to make it a two-point game, 64-62, in favor of the Noles. After senior Cierra Bravard’s cross-court pass went through junior Chasity Clayton’s hands, Goodwin-Coleman found Holston for a layup to tie the game with 8.9 seconds left.
After NC State used their final timeout, Bresnahan found Rodriguez well behind the arc and the Canary Islands, Spain, native confidently let fly the game-winner.
“In the final huddle we talked about what we were going to do if they pressed and what we were going to do if they didn’t,” Semrau said. “We stressed that most games are won on offensive rebounds. The fact that there was no offensive rebound was the best thing about the last shot of the game.
“I give credit to NC State for how hard they played until the last second. They had an opportunity to tie it at the end.”
Sophomore forward Natasha Howard recorded her eighth double-double of the season (17 points, 10 boards) as FSU overcame 32 turnovers by shooting 56.9 percent from the floor, outscoring the Wolfpack 44-14 in the paint and holding a 46-28 edge on the glass.
One minute into the second half, Howard skied above the rim to catch a lob pass from Rodriguez. The 6-3 forward was fouled while in the air but tapped the ball in for a layup.
Her ensuing free throw put the Seminoles up 13. The Wolfpack chipped away at its deficit, however, until tying the game at the end.
Despite committing 17 turnovers in the first half, Florida state held a commanding 39-30 lead at the break thanks to shooting a season-best 65.4 percent and making a pair of 10-0 runs.
Led by Bonae Holston, who scored eight points in the game’s first eight minutes, NC State jumped out to a 17-10 lead early in the game.
The Seminoles answered with their first 10-0 run and held the Wolfpack without a field goal for over five minutes.
Deluzio gave the Noles their first lead, 18-17, 10 minutes into the game after snagging a rebound and zig-zagging up the court for a tough layup. Bresnahan capped the 10-0 Seminole run with a layup to put FSU in front by 3.
FSU’s second first-half 10-0 run gave the Noles a 38-25 lead with 1:19 remaining before the break.
Florida State will take a day off Saturday before facing Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va. on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPNU.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_WBasketball.