February 6, 2017 - by

White-Hot Noles Take Down Miami

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Chatrice White scored 19 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, and fifth-ranked Florida State defeated No. 16 Miami 80-71 on Monday night.

White also had 14 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Shakayla Thomas also had 19 points, Brittany Brown added 13 and Ivey Slaughter 11 as the Seminoles (22-2, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their ninth straight.

Florida State led by as many as 15 (35-20) midway through the second period before Miami cut the margin to 40-32 at halftime. The Hurricanes would eventually tie it at 54 early in the fourth on Keyona Hayes’ 3-pointer but FSU would go on a 14-2 run, including seven straight points by White, to take control.

Miami closed within 72-69 on a Jessica Thomas 3-pointer but could not draw any closer.

Hayes led the Hurricanes (17-6, 6-5) with 17 points and Thomas added 16.

GAME NOTES BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
• Junior center Chatrice White’s double-double on Monday was her second in as many games against Miami. Including her career totals at Illinois, she now has 28 career double-doubles (four at FSU).
• White’s 19 points and 14 rebounds were both career highs at FSU. Her 14 boards are the most by a Seminole this season.
• White became just the seventh Seminole in program history to make all her free throws based on a minimum of 10 attempts. She is the first since former center Cierra Bravard went 11-of-11 vs. Louisville on Nov. 25, 2011.
• Junior Shakayla Thomas finished with 19 points to tie White for the team lead. Over her last five games, Thomas is averaging 18.0 points, including 11.2 second-half points.
• Florida State improves to 6-2 all-time against Miami when both teams battle as AP Top 25 opponents. Monday’s meeting was the fifth straight between the two teams as nationally-ranked squads.
• FSU’s senior class collected its 100th win against the Hurricanes. In what could possibly be their last matchup against Miami, the senior class is 8-2 against the Hurricanes.
• The Seminoles are now an impressive 7-1 vs. AP Top 25 teams, and have won seven straight.
• Prior to the game, Olympian Leticia Romero was honored for helping Spain win the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games, Spain’s first-ever Olympic medal in women’s basketball.
• FSU reached its 10th ACC win, the ninth time it has garnered 10+ wins in ACC play.
• FSU out-rebounded Miami 42-31 and has now out-rebounded its opponents in 21 of 24 games this year.

HEAD COACH SUE SEMRAU:

Opening Statement:
“That was a rivalry game right there. We knew that they (Miami) would come after us hard especially on the boards. I think they did a great job rebounding the ball; we haven’t really done the best of jobs. We haven’t been rebounding great and we’ve got to get back to that. Tree (Chatrice White) on the other hand, I thought she set the tone on the rebounding end. We knew she would come up with it; the one she came up with (the jump ball) was interesting. I felt like that was the difference for us in the second half was giving them only one shot.”

On Miami and other coaches saying this is the “best FSU team:”
“We’ve still got a lot to prove. It doesn’t matter if we are the best Florida State team now; we need to be the best Florida State team at the end of the season. We have a lot of work to do to become that.”

On Shakayla Thomas leading the team to victory in the second half:
“Well two halves are better than one. She has been playing very well in both halves but she took a nap a little bit in the first half and then woke up. Credit Shakayla. We have a high expectation for her, we put a lot of weight on her shoulders and she carries that very well.”

On Chatrice White improving throughout the season:
“On the defensive end it is really impressive. She has never played this kind of defense before in college. It was hard for her to pick up at first but she has done a great job at that.”

On being comfortable putting Chatrice White in the game as a starter:
“I wish I could start six players. Honestly, I have been comfortable since day one. We have had some people who have been sixth player of the year so I would like to see that be a Seminole tradition for us.”

On having players you are comfortable with on the bench in a physical game:
“That was tough, especially having them in the first half. Ivey played the wing for us; Maria Conde came in and did a great job for us. We missed Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk today; they’re battling those injuries. They will be back; in the meantime we were able to pull out a win.”

MIAMI HEAD COACH KATIE MEIER

OPENING STATEMENT:
“It was a pretty high-level basketball game; tons of physicality, tons of players making plays and hitting big shots.”

“I might have a different opinion after I watch film, but there was a stretch there in the 4th where we got shots we wanted, and honest to God they didn’t go in.”

“I think we were toe to toe, punch to punch, ready to battle.”

“There were some pretty big-time basketball players out in the court tonight. I thought it was very very high level, and it didn’t disappoint. I mean, its Miami-Florida State, two ranked teams.”

“I went after my team in the locker room after the game because that is how good I think we are. I didn’t pat them on the back, I didn’t say almost, great job, whatever.”

“Florida State is one of the finest teams in the country, and they are so well coached. And the talent that they can go to within their lineup, you know. They are hard to scout, and very hard to hold. That’s a credit to their staff, they do a great job, but Miami is pretty damn good too. We really are.”

“That isn’t an almost, that was a game we were positioned to win and Jessica Thomas had a really nice three that would have set the tie, and that thing when in and out, and games like these come down to those types of plays. And then they came down and Chatrice White totally destroyed us inside.”

The difference between playing here compared to playing at home:
“Our junior class did not play well, they weren’t battling, weren’t there. The problem that we had, I thought we were deficit rebounding. We kind of evened it up a little bit, but then we miss I want to say maybe five possessions in a row. And does Florida State get credit for that? Yes, because they are incredible defensively. I mean, I am trying to get them downhill, trying to get them in fouls, but in the end you have to be a shot maker to beat them. And we didn’t hit pretty key buckets right there. I love my team, I love their fight, but I am not satisfied with an almost. I’m just not.”

Talking about Chatrice White, was there any difference between the previous meeting and this one?
“Yeah I think so. She got a lot from the line tonight. 10 of 10, that’s a lot of points to get from the line… I mean, she’s a good player, but I thought Shakayla Thomas was really the one who answered a lot. I thought our little half-court trap in defense was getting them, but I think Shakayla Thomas got outside of that. It wasn’t Chatrice, it was Shakayla.”

Out of all the FSU teams you have played, is the one of the most complete FSU teams?
“100 percent. It’s my 12th time up here, or something like that, and this is the best team they have ever had. No question. I mean they’ve had other talented players, but in terms of this team, buying into what their job is, and what they are supposed to do, there is not a breakdown defensively; I mean, there is not. You think that you can get White hedging, but they are so committed to team defense, that you maybe can get by her, but it is not like you can get by her and get a layup. Someone else is going to challenge you. They put a ton of effort into their defense. They know they are a high scoring team, but I’m telling you I have a nice team and it is hard to score against Florida State; and I have a good team.”

MIAMI FORWARD KEYONA HAYES
How physical was it out there?
“It was a very physical game, and the refs let us play, and we all played to the best of our ability, but it was a very physical game.”

Coach Meier adds: “We were committed to that, we really were. We were not going to be wimping, we were going to let them know we were here, and it didn’t happen until about mid-way to the second quarter where we just let them know we were here, and we were ready to win. And I like that, the physicality of our team is really really important to our success. But we were more physical on defense that we were on offense, we gotta have more physicality on offense.”

FSU JUNIOR CENTER CHATRICE WHITE

How do you feel about your performance tonight?
“It’s great seeing the stat line but I would much rather come out with a win and we did tonight. Especially an in state game tonight like this. We had to grind it out at the end but it’s always fun playing like this.”

Especially in a physical game like this, how important is your ability to be physical and down low?
“I like playing physical. When teams want to play physical back I’m like ‘let’s go.’ Games like this are really fun for me. I think we all built off of each other and went off of each other and just got it out.”

How far do you feel that you’ve come since the start of the season?
“I’ve definitely come a long ways and when I look back at film from the beginning of the year I see such a difference to now. That’s credit to my team helping me out, holding me accountable and also our coaches working extra with me on film. Yes the growth is huge and you can definitely see it.”

Did this feel more like a Big Ten game?
“Physical-wise, yes. It’s my style of play and that’s how I like to play. The ACC is a great conference and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

About the yell you gave out early on…
“Yeah it gives my team energy and that’s just what I try to do.”

FSU JUNIOR FORWARD SHAKAYLA THOMAS

What was different in the second half? It seemed like every time the team needed a bucket you were there to deliver.
“I think it was just my focus. I wasn’t as focused in the first half as I was in the second half and it clearly showed. Just coming in and being able to give energy and change it around. That’s what I’m here to do.”

Let’s talk about your dunk attempt at the end….Do you want that in game dunk?
“Honestly I didn’t even try to make it. I just knew they were going to ask why didn’t you do it. It was just a crowd pleaser basically…..Yeah I just want it to be home.”

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