March 3, 2018 - by
Noles Get Wright in ACC Tournament Win Over Canes


GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Imani Wright scored 20 points and No. 11 Florida State held off Miami’s late rally for a 73-69 victory on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.

The third-seeded Seminoles (25-5) have won seven of their last eight games, and will play fifth-ranked and second-seeded Notre Dame (28-2) in a Saturday semifinal.

Wright had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the first half. Chatrice White finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for Florida State. Ama Degbeon and Shakayla Thomas chipped in 10 points apiece.

Emese Hof scored 21 points to lead sixth-seeded Miami (21-10). Mykea Gray added 15 points and Erykah Davenport had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Seminoles led 67-50 with five minutes left. A 19-5 run from Miami cut its deficit to 72-69 with 20 seconds remaining. Thomas then split a pair of free throws and following a Miami timeout, Hof missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left.

• The Seminoles will be making their fifth ACC Tournament semifinal appearance and their first since 2015. Third-seeded FSU battles No. 2 seed Notre Dame on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
• Imani Wright has reached 100 3-point field goals made, becoming just the fourth ACC student-athlete to reach triple digits in a season.
• Wright recorded her team-leading 11th 20-point game of the season, which included 15 of her 20 points in the first half.
• Senior center Chatrice White went 5-of-5 from the free throw line. She has now made her last 19 free-throw attempts.
• White reached the 100-block mark for her career, totaling 102 in less than two full seasons with FSU. She is just the eighth Seminole to record 100 blocks in a career.
• Shakayla Thomas reached 220 field goals made on the season, moving into sixth on the FSU single-season list and passing Tia Paschal (1992-93).
• The Seminoles were bolstered by a strong shooting third quarter where they shot 57.1 percent from the floor.
• For the game, FSU shot 18-of-21 (85.7 percent) from the free throw line, its second-best percentage in a game this season.
• Four Seminoles finished in double figures in points in Wright (20), White (12), Ama Degbeon (10) and Shakayla Thomas (10).
• FSU defeated Miami for the third time this season. It has defeated the Canes three times in three other seasons, including 2012-13, 1978-79 and 1979-80.
• FSU improves to 55-15 against ACC competition since the 2014-15 season, which includes conference tournament play as well.
• The Seminoles improve to 3-2 against Miami in ACC Tournament play.

SUE SEMRAU: It was a typical Florida State-Miami game. You knew that it was going to be a fight, and it was, and anything happens tournament time and we obviously know that. This is the third consecutive year that we’ve drawn Miami in this game, and I’m just really proud of the way that we continued to fight. I think it wasn’t pretty, but it was a fight by both teams.

Q. Did you bring that up in pregame, that you guys have drawn them a lot, they got you last year, and there was some revenge to be enacted?
SUE SEMRAU: Well, we did talk about it today at shoot around. I think we didn’t want to have an elephant in the room. We wanted to be able to talk through it, and our seniors did a great job of communicating their thoughts going in.

Q. How hard is it for both of you to beat a team three times? We hear that a lot, that it’s really challenging. Is it is that true or just a cliché?
SUE SEMRAU: Well, you can look at the record and see. I mean, it’s very, very difficult. I think it’s also hard to come into this tournament and not having played in a week, and you know, that’s another thing we started out.

They had an 8-0 run to start, and we really weren’t in any kind of rhythm. I thought they did a great job of applying some pressure early, but it’s really tough. It’s very tough to beat a team three times.

Q. Especially if it’s a rival?
IMANI WRIGHT: Yeah, like what coach Sue said, trying to get into a rhythm against a team you’ve played three times, you know each other so well and you’ve prepared so well for each other. But it was a great game.

Q. Can you talk about the positives that you’ll take away from this game moving forward?
SUE SEMRAU: Going to the semifinal game? I mean, that’s really — that’s a huge monkey off of our back at this point. Just there’s a lot of mental distractions that can enter your head, and I think, you know, towards the end of the game, you could see that, and I thought their mental toughness towards the etched the game was huge.

Q. As the game sort of game down to the end and Miami started to push back and push back and almost had a chance to take the lead at the end, what was going through your mind and how did you stay calm as they made the run at the end to try to take the lead back?
IMANI WRIGHT: Definitely stop turning the ball over. You know, just staying true to what we do and relaxing and knowing and having confidence in ourselves to just keep pushing forward and to finish the game.

SUE SEMRAU: Thanks for staying so late.

MIKE FINN: Thanks, Coach.

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