Jan. 20, 2005
Just four days after pulling off an upset over then-No. 15th-ranked Maryland, No. 24 Florida State stunned No. 6 North Carolina 79-73 in overtime Thursday at the Donald L. Tucker Center and once again showed its penchant for performing in extra minutes after shooting an impressive 66.7 percent from the field in the OT. Junior Ganiyat Adeduntan scored 16 of her 26 career-high points (10-16) before halftime and added a team-high nine rebounds in the victory.
“As if, I haven’t said enough about this team, they just continue to come out and meet challenges,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We talked about developing a championship mentality and we talked about how you have to conquer hard things in order to really achieve that championship mentality and they just continue to conquer what’s in front of them. Ganiyat, wow, she stepped up today in a big way and that’s what I love about this team. Different people step up when they try to key on certain people.”
Florida State lifted its record to 17-2 on the season and its 4-1 league mark is among the top in the ACC. The Tar Heels dropped to 14-3 overall and 2-2 in league action. The win snapped FSU’s six-game losing streak against North Carolina, which won 15 of the previous 16 meetings.
Florida State fought back from deficits of 56-50 with nine minutes to play in regulation and 64-61 with three minutes to go. Down three with 1:52 left in the game, the Seminoles’ Roneeka Hodges banked in a jumper and was fouled by UNC’s Erlana Larkins which sent her to the line. Hodges drained the free throw for the 64-64 tie and neither team could complete a bucket in the closing minutes which sent the game in overtime.
Less than a minute into overtime, it was all Adeduntan as she immediately drained one of her season-high three 3-pointers, and a steal followed by an assist from Holly Johnson to Hodges on the next play gave FSU the quick 69-64 advantage. The Seminoles performance in the extra minutes was near flawless as Florida State committed only one turnover and four different players tallied points paced by Adeduntan’s six and Johnson’s five. The Seminoles led by as much as seven points (75-68) after Johnson connected on a foul shot at the 1:12 mark. With 30 seconds remaining in the game, the Tar Heels’ Camille Little completed a shot to pull the game within two at 75-73, but four straight free throw recorded by the Seminoles never allowed UNC to get any closer.
“First of all, we congratulate Florida State, they played a great game,” UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “I guess what I really need to say is that is a typical road game in the ACC. I look at the stat sheet, with rebounds, we got outrebounded by one, but the biggest difference was the inside play. I look here and we scored 44 points in the paint and they score 28 but they take 24 foul shots and we take seven. A typical ACC road game and there’s not a whole lot you can say.”
Offensively, Florida State relied on a complete team effort as four different players scored in double figures. Hodges totaled 23, Johnson added 12 and senior Linnea Liljestrand notched 10 points, respectively. Adeduntan contributed five assists, one steal, and had just one turnover in 37 minutes of play.
Both teams recorded almost identical statistics across the board with the exception of overtime, where Florida State held North Carolina to a faulty 33 percent from the field in extra minutes.
The Tar Heels outscored FSU 44-28 in the paint, but the Seminoles made up for it by dribbling and penetrating to the outside where they scored the majority of its points.
The Seminoles and Tar Heels went to the break dead even at 37-all when Adeduntan hit a tying trey with 22 seconds left in the first period.
North Carolina was led in scoring by Larkins’ 21 points and La’Tangela Atkinson’s 16 points and 11 boards.
The Tribe continues ACC play with a 7 p.m. tilt at Virginia Tech on Monday, January 24th.