TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Shakayla Thomas scored 19 points, Chatrice White had her sixth double-double of the season and No. 9 Florida State rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Georgia Tech 64-61 on Sunday.
The Seminoles’ five seniors combined for 49 points in their last regular-season home game. White had 16 points and 13 rebounds while Imani Wright added 12 points.
The win gives Florida State (24-5, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) a double bye in this week’s conference tournament.
— FSU Women’s Hoops (@fsuwbb) February 25, 2018
The game saw 12 ties and 18 lead changes. The Yellow Jackets led 52-51 with 6:35 remaining on a layup by Elo Edeferioka before FSU went on an 8-2 run, which included two straight baskets by Thomas. Georgia Tech got within 62-61 on two free throws by Francesca Pan with 37 seconds remaining, but White made it a three-point game by making two free throws with four seconds left.
Georgia Tech (17-12, 6-10) had a chance to send it into overtime, but Pan’s 3-point attempt hit the back of the rim.
Edeferioka led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Pan scored 14.
POST-GAME NOTES BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
• Led by four-year seniors Shakayla Thomas and Ama Degbeon, FSU’s 2018 senior class extended its program record to 109 career wins.
• Thomas finished with her 102nd career double-figure scoring performance.
• Chatrice White’s sixth double-double of the season was also the 12th of her FSU career and the 36th of her collegiate career (Illinois and FSU).
• White recorded six blocked shots, establishing a new career high.
• AJ Alix registered her 25th game this season with a positive assist/turnover ratio. She has only had one game at FSU with a negative A/T.
• Imani Wright added three 3-point field goals to reach 97 for the season.
• Despite getting just 16 minutes because of foul trouble, sophomore Nicki Ekhomu still registered 10 points, her third straight game with double figures.
• Florida State’s 10 blocked shots is a season high and tied for the fourth-most in a game in program history.
• FSU has averaged 24.8 regular-season wins over the last four years.
• The Seminoles saved their best shooting quarter for last, shooting 54.5 percent (6-of-11) in the fourth quarter.
• The 44 combined fouls called in Sunday’s game was tied for the third-most in an FSU game this season.
• FSU finishes the ACC with a 12-4 record, the fourth consecutive year it has won 75 percent or more of its conference games, Only FSU, Notre Dame and Louisville have won 75 percent or better of ACC games in each season since 2014-15.
• FSU has won four straight against Georgia Tech for the first time since 2000-01.
Head Coach Sue Semrau
“I’m exhausted. I can’t imagine how they feel. We told them it was going to be a battle and they came out to battle and fight every possession. You knew it was going to be a war. I wish I could have all of the seniors up here because every one of them has meant so much to our program. These two today were especially excellent. Tree starts with a double-double, 13 rebounds, 10-for-10 from the line. It was just money in a tough, tough game. And then Shakayla, you all think it was when she took over on the offensive end that was a big deal. No, she took over defensively. She guarded, she re-bounded, and it was big time. It was a gutsy win, one that we needed to have to learn how to fight through. Just credit Georgia Tech, they’re a tough, tough basketball team and they really look to fight to find a way to win.”
On the difficulty of playing three games in six days…
“Hard for me, easy for them. They’re the athletes. I think we worked on it, we got confident with it, they only scored off of turnovers eleven points and they’re usually scoring twenty plus. We’re really proud of that, proud of the way we re-bounded. Out re-bounding that team was big.”
On the strategy of the final possession…
“It was get the ball in. They are so tough, and they fight to make it hard for you to catch it, they make it hard for you to move. A foul could have been called almost every possession. Tri worked really hard to get it and I was really happy that it was her.”
On the better shooting in the fourth quarter…
“We did get to 37 percent, but that’s still not what we want. We’re a really good shooting team. Mani to not shoot that well is an anomaly, so we had to find other ways. I thought they just blanketed her and they were switching everything. We really started to second-cut off the ball, find people that way and that really helped us to score and get some open looks.”
On Georgia Tech taking AJ out of the game…
“I just think it was one of those games. She had to handle it so much and they gave so much pressure and then we had 23 to run offense. That’s the way they like to play, and you just have to have a lot of grit and fight. That’s not our style, but teams are going to slow you down and we’ll find a way to win when they do that.
On this senior class changing the expectations of FSU Women’s Hoops…
“They’ve left a legacy, a legacy of growth. Even today, I felt like it was one of those things where it was a breakthrough kind of game for us. For these guys to be the winningest class in school history, I didn’t think that could be topped from last year and it was and is and we’ve still got more to go. It’s like Kayla said, we love each other and we take care of each other and that’s what moves us forward.”
Shakayla Thomas and Chatrice White
On the flow of the game with the amount of fouls:
White: “Honestly, I like physical games. It makes me want to be more physical. As basketball players, that’s just something we have to play through. It’s just being smart on our part, and not going the extra mile and not doing something stupid. We got in some foul trouble, but I liked the physicality of the game, and Georgia Tech does too, so that was fun.”
Thomas: “Yeah I think the physicality part brought us together. Clearly from the beginning, we just got it together. I just feel like that gave us momentum and all of the energy we had.”
On it being her last regular season home game at Florida State:
“Being here with Coach Sue was such a learning experience. I have learned so much from high school to now. With lessons learned, I think I’ve grown here. This is home, so being my last (regular season) home game here was bittersweet. Obviously, we went out with a bang, and I did it with the people I love.”
On the changing of the culture and expectations of this senior class from the previous ones:
“I think the expectations have always been there. Coming to Florida State, that was a huge reason for me. We’re just continuing to grow those expectations and the culture here for the next group that’s coming in and the next one after that. But this is just where we are, and who we are. Moving forward, it’s a great thing about our team and our program. Just moving forward, and keeping it going.”