Feb. 2, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball team earned its 15th victory of the season in thrilling fashion with a triple-overtime 62-60 victory over Wake Forest, Sunday afternoon at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. With the win, the Seminoles improved to 15-5 overall and 7-2 in the ACC and recorded their first sweep over Wake Forest since 1997-98, while the Demon Deacons fell to 10-9 overall and 1-9 in league action.
The Seminoles led by 10 at halftime but struggled offensively throughout the game, shooting a season-low 24 percent for the contest, but recorded nine steals, six blocks and had a 64-59 advantage in the rebounding department.
“I really can’t explain this,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We were so sharp yesterday in practice. I’m just very, very pleased that my team had the fight in them to finish. Obviously, not shooting the ball well and having two huge defensive shots to force overtime was critical. I’ve been calling on their defense all year and I thought they really stepped up to the challenge when the ball wasn’t going into the hole today.”
After a slow start for both teams, the Seminoles had a 26-16 halftime lead. Both squads struggled offensively and the score was just 15-15 with 6:43 remaining in the half. Ignited by a Tasheika Morris three-pointer, the Seminoles went on an 11-1 run to close out the half with a 10-point lead. Morris led the team with seven points while Genesis Choice had six rebounds. FSU shot just 22 percent and had a 30-25 rebounding advantage. The Seminole defense held Wake Forest to just 16 percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers.
The Demon Deacons opened the second half with a 5-0 run to pull within five points and did so again at 28-23 at the 17:26 mark. The Seminoles responded as Morris ran off five straight to put FSU up by 10 once again. But the pesky Demon Deacons did not go away and kept chipping away at the Florida State lead. Trailing 39-30, Wake Forest ran off seven straight points by shots from three different players to pull within two with just over eight minutes remaining. Less than two minutes later, the Deacs pulled to within one at 41-40 on a three-pointer by Cotelia Bond-Young, who was one of three Wake Forest players to tally 11 for the game. Wake Forest finally forced a tie at 44-44 with 4:25 left on the clock. FSU went back up two with a pair of free throws by Choice, but Wake quickly tied the game and then took a one-point lead at 47-46 with 2:22 left. The Seminoles missed two go-ahead shots but finally tied the game on a Morris free throw with one minute to play. As Morris missed the second free throw. Wake had a chance to go for the win. FSU’s Lauren Bradley had a huge steal with 46 seconds left but the Seminoles couldn’t capitalize, giving the Deacs yet another chance. With 15 seconds left, Wake decided to go for the last shot, but FSU’s Angela Sutton stole the ball as time expired and the game went into overtime.
FSU never led in the first overtime and trailed by as many as four, but two more Morris free throws knotted the game at 53-53 and Wake Forest missed two shots in the final 15 seconds to send the game into a second overtime.
The Seminoles went up four in the second OT, but Wake responded with a lay up and a three-pointer by Tonia Brown to go up by one. With five seconds remaining, Bradley made one of two free throws to tie the game at 58 apiece and the Deacs did not get a shot off.
The final overtime went down to the wire as well, but the Seminoles never trailed. FSU’s Katelyn Vujas hit two free throws to get things started and both Bradley and Morris hit one of two free throws to give the Tribe a two-point advantage with 2:02 to play. Wake Forest had two turnovers and missed a free throw and two three-pointers, including one at the buzzer, in the final two minutes of the game.
The Seminoles’ scored their final field goal at the 3:05 mark of the second overtime and their last five points were all from the charity stripe. After shooting 88 percent from the free throw line (14-for-16) in regulation, FSU went 23-for-33 (.697) from the free throw line for the game after going 9-for-17 in the three overtimes.
Morris finished with a game-high 16 points for the Noles while Vujas had her fifth career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. For Wake Forest, Erin Ferrell and Tonia Brown joined Bond-Young with 11 points each. Bond-Young had a double-double with 10 rebounds and Tiffani Listenbee had a game-high 11 boards. Wake Forest shot 27 percent for the game and both teams suffered 26 turnovers.
FSU’s will have the week to prepare for its 2 p.m. contest at NC State on Sunday, February 9th.