TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Shakayla Thomas scored 16 points, Imani Wright had 13 points and nine rebounds, and No. 12 Florida State beat Jacksonville State 73-62 on Friday in a season opener for both teams.
Wright, a transfer from Baylor, gave Florida State a 19-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville State pulled to 69-61 with 2:32 left, but Thomas answered with a basket and the Seminoles led by double figures the rest of the way.Ivey Slaughter and Brittany Brown each added 10 points for Florida State, which has won 16 consecutive season-opening home games. Chatrice White, a transfer from Illinois, had eight points and eight rebounds. It was Slaughter’s 49th career game scoring in double figures.
Florida State coach Sue Semrau started her 20th season and coached in her 600th game.
Briana Benson made six of nine 3-pointers and scored 21 points for Jacksonville State, which played against a ranked team for the first time since 2010. Gretchen Morrison added five 3-pointers and 16 points as the Gamecocks hit 13 of 25 shots from distance.
Jacksonville State missed 11 consecutive shots in the first half, but only trailed 36-34.
POST-GAME NOTES FROM FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
• Head Coach Sue Semrau was honored after the game with a video on the jumbotron for her 600th career game and 20th season at FSU.
• The Seminoles improved to 21-1 all-time in season openers at home.
• FSU stretch its non-conference home win streak to 33 consecutive games.
• FSU out-scored Jacksonville State 20-6 in the third period, holding the Gamecocks to 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) in that frame.
• For the 23rd time in her career, Shakayla Thomas led the Seminoles in scoring with 16 points (8-of-15).
• Senior Brittany Brown led FSU with six assists while helping fill the point guard role.
• The Seminoles out-scored Jacksonville State 46-8 in the paint, helped by the 10 points and nine rebounds from Ivey Slaughter. The Macon, Ga., native also led the Seminoles with three steals.
• FSU is now 33-1 in its last 34 home games.
• Sophomore Maria Conde’s six rebounds on Friday tied a career high she set last season vs. UAB.
HEAD COACH SUE SEMRAU
“It’s inexcusable that we gave up 14 threes. I think you could look at a lot of reasons why we were who we were today and the only good reason is that we haven’t played a lot together yet. It’s not a good enough reason. We have a lot of veterans and a lot of people that should be holding each other to a higher standard. So we’re going to get back to work tomorrow morning and we’ve got a big game on Monday.”
Who are some of the team leaders you look to take the next step before the next game?
“Brittany, Ivey, and Leticia are our captains. They’ve been at FSU and they understand what it takes and the culture. I think they haven’t had to necessarily step up in this role before. Leticia has and she wasn’t on the floor with us and that’s a little bit different, but at the same time they’re mature enough that they can handle that.”
In the third quarter did you think they were finally starting to take control of the game after a rough first half?
“Yeah, I thought we came out with a different sense of urgency on defense. I would like to hope that we had stayed in that rhythm with the people who started the third quarter, but they’re going to need rest and so we talked a lot about our depth and we have to get our depth ready.”
REDSHIRT JUNIOR GUARD IMANI WRIGHT
What did you think of your performance in your first regular season game as a Seminole?
“Just getting back out there was something I’ve been looking forward to. To be out there with my teammates, points don’t really matter to me. I just wanted to get out there and do what I can.”
What did sitting out last year do for you?
“I think getting a different perspective was helpful. Since getting back in my game is much different, but I think it made it way better.”
How excited are you to play UConn, the number one team in the country, on Monday?
“I’m very excited, I’m looking forward to it. I’m ready to jump back in full force.”
What was the mood in the locker room and what do you have to do as a team when you get back in the gym tomorrow?
“Just focus. Lock in on defense as well as offensive.”