TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Women’s Basketball star forward Natasha Howard earned her first WNBA Championship on Wednesday night, helping the Minnesota Lynx win the fifth and decisive game over the Los Angeles Sparks, 85-76.
Howard, who established a school-record 41 double-doubles with FSU, was a key reserve for the Lynx who averaged 1.1 points and one rebound in six minutes off the bench in the playoffs. Florida State’s all-time leading rebounder has been a part of the Lynx-Sparks rivalry over the last two seasons, as Los Angeles took the series 3-2 in 2016.
— FSU Women’s Hoops (@fsuwbb) October 5, 2017
The Lynx fell behind 2-1 in the series, but came through with a game four win at Los Angeles by an 80-69 score before clinching the title in game five in Minnesota.
“As talented as Natasha is, she is the consummate team player,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It is so exciting to see her and the Lynx organization rewarded with the WNBA Championship. Her Seminole family is so proud of her.”
Howard wrapped up her fourth season in the WNBA, having played two seasons with the Indiana Fever in 2014 and 2015 before being traded to the Lynx for the last two years. For the 2017 season, the Toledo, Ohio, native averaged 4.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, shot 48.4 percent from the floor and averaged nearly one blocked shot (0.6) per game.
Howard came to Florida State in 2010 as the highest-ranked recruit in program history, rating No. 2 overall in the 2010 signing class out of Morrison R. Waite High School. She lived up to her billing, becoming a three-time All-ACC Team member as well as an ACC All-Freshman Team performer in the 2010-11 season.
The two-time All-American posted one of the finest individual single seasons ever recorded by a Seminole. As a senior in 2013-14, Howard averaged 20.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 2.1 steals. In ACC play, she remarkably produced the league’s highest single-game totals in four categories: Points (40 vs. Syracuse), field goals made (14 vs. Syracuse, 14 vs. Duke, 14 vs. Virginia, 14 vs. Miami), rebounds (22 vs. Duke) and free throws made (12 vs. Syracuse, 12 vs. Georgia Tech).
In that special senior season, Howard totaled a remarkable five 30-point games, including a school-record 40 points at Syracuse on Feb. 13, 2014.
Howard is the highest WNBA Draft Pick in FSU history, being selected fifth overall by the Indiana Fever in 2014. She is one of 12 Seminoles selected in the WNBA Draft, which includes four picks over the last four years. There have been 14 FSU Alumna who have been drafted or signed by a WNBA team.