IOWA CITY, IOWA (AP) – Shakayla Thomas scored 31 points, 17 in the fourth quarter, and Imani Wright added 26 points as No. 13 Florida State erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Iowa 94-93 on Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Megan Gustafson, who scored 34 points on 15-of-18 shooting, scored the first six points of an 8-0 run to end the third quarter and the first four points of the fourth quarter to put Iowa (7-1) ahead 75-63. Thomas, who also had 10 rebounds, ended the run and then had the first basket and the last 11 points in a 15-2 run that put the Seminoles up 80-79 with 3:13 to play.
“It was do or die,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said of the game. “We had to make a choice and I believed in them. This was a big win for us.
“This game was about what Shakayla did on the defensive end in the fourth quarter,” Semrau added. “I know she can do that other stuff and play well offensively. She really cut it loose defensively.”
The teams traded the lead with big 3s and free throws, with Gustafson tying the game at 85 with a pair of free throws with 48 seconds to go. Wright answered with a 3 and after a steal by Thomas, A.J. Alix made two free throws with 24.7 for a 91-86 lead. Tania Davis knocked down a 3-pointer for the Hawkeyes with 17.2 seconds to go.
Both teams then went 1 of 2 from the line before Thomas made it a two-possession game with two foul shots with five seconds left. Davis ended it with a 3 at the buzzer.
FSU (7-0) is 9-2 in the challenge with its current six-game winning streak, the longest of any school.
• Shakayla Thomas’ 31 points marked her second career 30-point game.
• Imani Wright’s seven 3-point field goals ties a school record.
• FSU improves to 8-3 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games.
• Earlier on Wednesday, Thomas was named to both the Wade Trophy Watch List as well as the Naismith Trophy Watch List. Both are two of the most prestigious player of the year awards in women’s basketball.