RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Leticia Romero scored 15 points, including two critical baskets on consecutive possessions late in the game, and Ivey Slaughter made two free throws with nine seconds left and No. 12 Florida State held off North Carolina State 56-52 Thursday night.
Shakayla Thomas, who had 19 points, pulled the Seminoles (22-6, 12-3 ACC) into a tie at 49 with a layup off a Romero assists with 3:10 to play. The Wolf Pack then had three straight turnovers before a miss, which was when Florida State finally cashed in. Romero hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 remaining for a 52-49 lead. After another N.C. State miss, Romero made a layup with 28 seconds left.
Dominique Wilson made three free throws with nine seconds left to make it a two-point game but Slaughter calmly made two foul shots after being immediately fouled to seal the win.
Jennifer Mathurin led the Wolf Pack (18-10, 9-6) with 16 points.
POST-GAME NOTES COMPILED BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
· Florida State clinched a No. 4 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament, securing a double bye. While FSU still has one more game left vs. No. 17 Miami on Sunday, its ACC Tournament opener will be next Friday, March 4, at 11 a.m.
· FSU’s four-point win over NC State is the first time this season the Seminoles have played in a game five points or less in scoring margin. FSU was the only ACC team that had not played in a 5-point game entering tonight’s contest.
· Sophomore Shakayla Thomas finished with a game-high 19 points (9-of-21) along with four rebounds.
· Junior guard Leticia Romero was FSU’s clutch performer of the night, breaking a 49-49 tie with a 3-pointer with 1:15 left. She followed with an insurance layup to make it 54-49 with 28 seconds left. Romero finished with 15 points (6-of-11) with four assists.
· Senior center Adut Bulgak finished with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting with eight rebounds.
· FSU held NC State’s top three scorers Miah Spencer (2-of-10), Dominique Wilson (2-of-9) and Jennifer Mathruin (5-of-11) to a combined 9-of-30 for the game.
· FSU’s win over NC State gives it a clean sweep of all four North Carolina-based schools in the ACC (NC State, Duke, UNC, Wake Forest). It marks the third time FSU has defeated all four institutions in the same season.
· NC State was held to just nine points in the second period, the 25th time this season an opponent has been held to single digits in a period vs. FSU.
· FSU secured another Top-50 RPI win as NC State is rated 42nd in the latest rankings.