ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (Seminoles.com) – In what was a physical matchup, No. 17 Florida State Women’s Basketball fell to Purdue in a close game, 66-61, on Saturday at the St. Pete Showcase held at Eckerd College.
The Seminoles (4-2) were led by senior guard Morgan Jones’ 14 points with seven rebounds and two assists on 4-of-5 shooting. FSU out-rebounded the sizeable Boilermakers, 35-34, but a late Purdue run erased FSU’s early 53-47 lead in the fourth quarter.
A key 7-0 run by Purdue midway through the fourth quarter was the momentum changer. FSU held a 55-52 lead on layup by Valencia Myers with 6:17 left, but consecutive baskets underneath for Purdue and a 3-point field goal by Cassidy Hardin made it 59-55 Purdue with 4:59 remaining.
Hardin led all scorers with 18 points.
Jones tried to will FSU back with a layup to cut the deficit to 59-57 with 4:22 remaining. Down the stretch, Purdue was able to string together enough stops to earn its first win of the tournament.
Senior Kourtney Weber gave FSU a spark with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Point guard Sara Bejedi added 11 points with five assists and only two turnovers.
Using a different starting lineup on Saturday, FSU was able to out-score Purdue, 31-9, off the bench. The Boilermakers were held to 40.3 percent shooting from the floor. Much of Purdue’s offense was predicated on 3-point shooting, as it went 12-of-33 from outside.
Florida State’s defensive effort was highlighted by its first shut-out in a quarter since the four quarters format began. In the second quarter, FSU out-scored Purdue 18-0 to go from a 26-15 deficit to a 33-26 halftime lead. The Seminoles raised the pressure on Purdue’s outside shooters as the Boilermakers shot 0-for-13 in the second frame.
FSU returns with the annual B1G/ACC Challenge on the road at Illinois on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. on Big Ten+.