Nov. 17, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Senior post Cierra Bravard scored 22 points and grabbed nine boards, but No. 19/21 Florida State fell to Florida, 72-58, on Thursday at the O’Connell Center.
Natasha Howard added her second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but no other Nole scored more than six points as FSU was held to just 35.5 percent shooting.
Led by forward Jennifer George’s 18 points, Florida put four players in double figures and shot 46.8 percent from the floor.
“Florida came out and just played a great game; played with a lot more heart and passion than we did,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “They are just a gritty team. They’ve got a lot of experience back from last year and it shows.”
The Noles made just three of their first 13 shots and didn’t hit a field goal until four and a half minutes in.
Florida opened up a 21-8 lead on a fastbreak layup by Deana Allen at the 11:53 mark. Bravard, who faced double and triple teams the entire game, brought FSU back into the game.
The 6-4 Sandusky, Ohio, native scored five consecutive points and emphatically swatted a layup by Florida’s Brittany Shine.
Howard’s basket five minutes before the break capped a 15-6 run for the Seminoles and brought them within four – 27-23.
Florida closed the half on a 14-4 run, however. Prompted by a trio of free throws and a three-point bomb from Jordan Jones, who scored all 14 of her points in the first half, the Gators took a 41-27 lead into the break.
After the break, the Seminoles drew five fouls on Florida in the first four minutes and made five of their first eight shots of the second half. The Gators maintained control of the game by making four of their first five field goal attempts in the final frame, though.
The closest Florida State got the rest of the way was seven points on a pair of Bravard free throws that made the score 53-46 with 12:33 remaining.
Bravard’s “And-1” layup with 9:53 remaining made the score 60-51 and put her over the 20-point mark for the ninth time in her career.
With just over five minutes left, Florida guard Jaterra Bonds tossed up a desperate three-point jumper to beat a shot clock violation that clanged off the rim. As it did most of the night, the ball bounced the Gators way – right to Allen, who was fouled on her putback attempt and drilled both free throws to put UF ahead by 14 – the final margin.
Bravard fouled out with 3:48 to play when she and Florida’s Azania Stewart were assessed double technical fouls, while tussling for the ball.
Florida held a slim 41-38 advantage on the boards, but outscored the Noles, 44-30, in the paint and had 15 fastbreak points compared to FSU’s four.
FSU dropped to 2-2, while Florida improved to 2-1.
Florida State will try to rebound against Georgia State for the first home game of the 2011-12 season on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee.
For more information on the Florida State women’s basketball team follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball.