TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Imani Wright sank a school record eight 3-pointers and finished with a career-best 33 points to propel No. 13 Florida State to a 103-65 win over North Carolina in an Atlantic Coast Conference opener Sunday.
Wright missed just four of her 12 shots from behind the arc and finished with 11-for-18 shooting overall as Florida State (13-1) dominated from long range, sinking 10 of 20 while holding North Carolina to just 1 for 13.
Shakayla Thomas added 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, Nicki Ekhomu had 19 points and Nausia Woolfolk got 13 for the Seminoles, who also controlled the glass 47-22.
After a tight first quarter, Florida State opened the second quarter with an 18-3 run to make it 41-24 and took a 57-36 advantage into the halftime break. Wright had three 3-pointers during the breakaway run and Ekhomu had one.
Janelle Bailey and Paris Kea led North Carolina (10-4) with 17 points apiece and Jamie Cherry added 10 points.
• Redshirt senior guard Imani Wright’s 33 points tie for the 14th-most in a single game in program history. Her career-high effort surpasses the 26 she put up at Iowa on Nov. 29 this season.
• Wright’s eight 3-point field goals made surpasses the school record of seven previously held by four different players, including herself (she had seven 3-balls at Iowa).
• Senior Shakayla Thomas’ double-double effort was the 14th of her illustrious FSU career. Her 10 made field goals mark the sixth time this season she has made 10+ baskets and the 14th time in her career.
• Florida State’s 38-point win over North Carolina is its largest margin of victory in the series. UNC’s last visit to FSU on Feb. 14, 2016, resulted in a 31-point win for the Seminoles (94-63).
• The Seminoles hung 58 points on the Tar Heels in the first half. It was their second-most points in a half vs. an ACC opponent, only surpassed by the 59 second-half points it recorded vs. Wake Forest in 2015.
• FSU recorded 100+ points for the 31st time in program history, the fifth time vs. an ACC opponent and the third time this season. It is only the third time the Seminoles have recorded three or more 100+ point games in a season.
• Guided by Wright’s eight 3-pointers, FSU recorded 10 from beyond the arc – the 17th time it has recorded 10 or more.
• FSU established season highs on Sunday for free throws made (21) and 3-point field goal percentage (50 percent).
Coach Sue Opening Statement:
“The thing I’m most proud of is the way we played with so much intensity. You can always see that on the boards, as we always want to get 45 percent of our offensive rebounds and we got 57 percent of those rebounds today. We always want to try to get 75 percent of defensive rebounds and today we got 87 percent of them. That was the difference maker today, and it was great to see Shakalya going to the offensive glass and Imani protecting the defensive glass. To see Imani get a record high 3-pters in a game was really fun to watch and to see our team celebrate with her is really awesome.”
On the team’s performance:
“We have to continue to grow and get better, and certainly we aren’t satisfied with the things we did in a lot of areas today, so we can celebrate this one for a while, as it was obviously a great win over a storied team like North Carolina. But now we have to put this game behind us and get ready for the next game. Our team prepared very well for today and now we have to prepare for Clemson.”
On the Importance of having Imani and Shakalya:
“I think having the inside out punch is very special. And then having players come in and give us a ton of energy and find these two is something special. They are our scorers and when we are finding them it’s fun to coach.”
On Career high game:
“I think it’s working hard in practice and putting in those reps at full speed is something I’m trying to work on. It’s amazing to know that you can shoot it and we are going to get it back if it doesn’t go in. Being able to rebound and all the work they are putting in on the glass, it’s very impressive.”
On the mindset of making eight 3-pointers in the game:
“I went through regular pregame warmups as usual and then during the game I started to feel like this is going to be fun. And then I started having confidence and my teammates were able to find me and that to me was the best part of it.”
On a change from last year when it comes to shooting:
“My confidence is the biggest thing. My teammates give me so much confidence and I know they are behind me, which makes it a lot easier to play hard and take those shots. AJ Alix does an amazing job when it comes to finding us and getting the team into its set and there’s just a lot of confidence in having AJ out there to distribute the ball.”