Dec. 10, 2011
AKRON, Ohio. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State women’s basketball players Cierra Bravard and Natasha Howard didn’t waste their second opportunity in front of family and friends on Saturday against Akron at the James A. Rhodes Arena.
Ten days after a tough 78-75 overtime loss to No. 17 Ohio State in Columbus, the duo returned to their home state to lead Florida State to a 90-64 win over Akron.
“I know they felt like they had some unfinished business in Ohio,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They came out and did a great job on the other end of what our guards were able to do – which was get them the ball. They finished well and they both went to the board extremely well. It’s fun to see them rewarded when they do that.”
Howard, a sophomore forward from Toledo, Ohio, native, erupted for a career-best 24 points and a career-best-tying 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
Bravard, a senior preseason All-American post from Sandusky, Ohio, scored a career-best 28 points and ripped down 12 boards for her second double-double of the 2011-12 campaign. Bravard made 11-of-12 field goals for a ridiculous .916 shooting percentage – the best shooting game of any ACC player this season.
“I didn’t look up at the scoreboard to see how many points I had,” Bravard said. “I just did what I’m taught to do – which is get deep seals and just play through anything. As the team keeps looking for me then I’m going to make a great play or get to the foul line.”
It was reserve forward Chelsea Davis that broke the game open for the Seminoles in the second half.
Eight consecutive points by the junior lifted the Seminoles to a 58-45 lead with 13 minutes left in the second half.
Howard’s three-point play after getting fouled on a fastbreak layup stretched the Garnet and Gold advantage to 61-45.
A few moments later junior guard Leo Rodriguez buried a three to put the Noles up, 66-47, with 10 minutes left, and the rout was on.
Akron jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game’s first minute-and-half. Bravard kept the Noles in the game early, scoring 10 points and grabbing five boards in the game’s first 12 minutes before sitting the final eight minutes of the first half with two fouls.
Akron stayed in front until junior Alexa Deluzio pulled up for a three to tie the game at 25-25 at the 10:20 mark in the first half.
Sophomore Olivia Bresnahan’s free throws with 9:52 remaining before the break gave the Seminoles their first lead, 27-25.
Bresnahan finished with a career-best six assists, while Davis scored 13 points – all in the second half.
FSU had a season-high with 23 assists and committed a season-low 14 turnovers. FSU shot 61.9 percent in the second half en route to a season-high 52.9 field goal shooting percentage.
Florida State has an eight-day break until its next game. The Seminoles will host Alabama A&M on Dec. 19 at 11 a.m.
For more information on the Florida State women’s basketball team follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball.