TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Shakayla Thomas had career highs of 32 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 19 Florida State over Georgia Tech 75-69 on Sunday.
Adut Bulgak added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Seminoles (12-4, 2-1 ACC), who extended their home winning streak to 27.
Ciani Cryor scored 18 points and Aaliyah Whiteside 17 for the Yellow Jackets (10-7, 0-4).
The Seminoles were shooting 50 percent on 3-pointers at home but dipped to 21 percent (4 of 19) Sunday. They also had 29 turnovers but they ruled the boards, 56-21.
The Seminoles led by 17 before a 19-1 Georgia Tech run cut it to one, 37-36, at halftime. FSU rebuilt its lead to 10 but a 3-pointer by Antonia Peresson shaved it to three, 72-69, with 3:14 left. However, the Yellow Jackets missed four shots and had two turnovers after that while Thomas added a final free throw and basket.
GAME NOTES COMPILED BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
· Shakayla Thomas’ 32 points ties for an ACC season high, also held by North Carolina’s Destinee Walker (32 vs. Florida A&M) and Duke’s Azura Stevens (32 vs. Army); Thomas is the 19th Seminole to record 30+ points in a game and the first since Natasha Howard had 30 vs. Miami in the first round of the ACC Tournament on March 6, 2014.
· Thomas’ 32 points is the most by a Seminole since Natasha Howard posted 33 vs. Virginia on March 2, 2014; Howard’s performance helped start FSU’s current 27-game home win streak.
· Aside from setting a career high in points, Thomas also set career highs in rebounds (14), field goals made (14) and field goals attempted (20).
· FSU’s win over Georgia Tech meant a little more than usual: Georgia Tech was the last team to beat FSU in Tallahassee on Feb. 27, 2014, by an 86-78 score.
· FSU now owns an 11-game win streak against ACC opponents at home in addition to its overall 27-game home win streak.
· With the victory, the Seminoles improve to 24-20 all-time vs. Georgia Tech and 11-11 at home.
· The Seminoles had four players reach double-figure points for the seventh time this season: Thomas (32), Adut Bulgak (14), Ivey Slaughter (10) and Brittany Brown (10).
· Sunday marked the seventh time FSU has made 30 or more field goals in a game this season. The Seminoles went 30-of-67 (44.8 percent) from the floor.
· The Seminoles tied a season high with seven blocks, courtesy of Bulgak (3) and a season high by Kai James (3).
· Junior forward Ivey Slaughter scored all 10 of her points in the first period, which included the first two 3-point field goals of her career.
· Adut Bulgak registered her team-leading fourth double-double of the season and the 16th of her career. She is tied with teammate Ivey Slaughter and Briana Day of Syracuse for the third-most among active players in the ACC.
· Georgia Tech recorded 28 points off turnovers by halftime, but had just two in the second half.
· FSU led Georgia Tech 37-36 at halftime, its closest halftime margin at home since trailing Duke 37-34 on Jan. 11, 2015.
· FSU now has 23 runs this season that are greater than 10-0. It recorded an 11-0 run in the first period to go from a 23-17 lead to a 34-17 lead.
· Georgia Tech, which ranked third in the ACC with a rebound margin of +7.9, was out-rebounded 56-31 by FSU; The 56 rebounds are a season high and the most since the Seminoles recorded 64 against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 18, 2014.
· ACC leading scorer Aaliyah Whiteside of Georgia Tech was held to 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting; It tied for her second-lowest amount of field goals in a game this season.
HEAD COACH SUE SEMRAU QUOTES:
“We talk about offensive production but that is not where I was proud of this team. I was so proud of our defensive efforts and our rebounding. My assistant who is charge of rebounding, Daniella Santos Atkinson, challenged them and said your identities in rebounding improved; 56-31 against a great rebounding team. Georgia Tech is physical, they’re tough, and we knew it would be tough. We knew we needed to come out and have a stronger mentality than they did, and that is something we are growing in. Really proud of these guys.”
Coach, what were you seeing in that second quarter when Georgia Tech made its big run and the shooting had fallen off for you guys?
“That was my fault. I should have called a time-out. I’m still getting used to these four time-outs and I should have stopped it. We were turning the ball over and I should have settled us. I am really proud of the way they continued to stay poised when they tied the game and showed a lot of fight.”
Shakayla really took this game over. Where would you rank her performance over the ones you’ve seen through the years?
“Again, a lot of people can score points but what Shakayla did tonight was she defended like I’ve never seen her defend before. She battled against one of the best post players, I think in the conference, Roddreka Rogers. To get eight offensive rebounds, I think was huge. When we got into foul trouble, Shakayla stepped up for Ivey and Adut. Kai came in and had huge minutes. I mean, to get the offensive rebounds she did, she just gets mad at herself when she misses a shot. She’s not going to miss many in the rest of her career. She is an up and coming player. It’s really fun to watch.
What was said at halftime? Georgia Tech was making its run, what did you say to this team at halftime to spark the second half?
“It wasn’t anything I said. It was more settling us in their press, against their press, and press offense and simplifying. We didn’t talk about having 20 turnovers or anything like that, we talked about how to take care of the basketball.”
You’re three games into the ACC play and with two road tests up ahead, what do you think the team needs to improve on these next couple games?
“Well, we’re playing on the road. Period. Historically, we’re a great road team and we have to get back to that. These two are going to be great tests for us.”