Romero's 25 Helps No. 10 FSU Defeat No. 25 Gonzaga
ST. THOMAS, V.I. (AP) – Leticia Romero's career night helped Florida State beat its first ranked opponent of the season.
Romero scored a career-high 25 points, and the No. 10 Seminoles used a big first-quarter run to pull away from No. 25 Gonzaga for an 87-69 victory Friday in the Paradise Jam tournament.
"It's a Top 25 opponent, that's always a big deal," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "We just disrupted a lot of what they were trying to do. I hope that gives us a lot of confidence. We still didn't quite play our best, so knowing that gives me hope that we can continue to get better."
Jill Barta scored 20 points for the Bulldogs (3-2), who were forced into 21 turnovers by Florida State's defense. That gave the Seminoles a 24-17 advantage in points off turnovers.
"That's the second night in a row that we've struggled to defend the 3 and the 2," Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said. "And we didn't shoot particularly well ourselves. We didn't handle their pressure well. It's tough to overcome those things against really good teams.”
Wright scored 10 points during Florida State's 17-6 run to open the game, which gave the Seminoles their first double-digit lead. She kicked off the run with a layup, then ended it with back-to-back 3-pointers at the 5:10 mark.
Florida State took its biggest lead with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, when Nausia Woolfolk hit a reverse layup to put the Seminoles ahead 87-66 with 37 seconds left.
POST-GAME NOTES BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
• Florida State’s AP Top 25 win over Gonzaga was the 33rd nationally-ranked win for head coach Sue Semrau and the 46th in program history.
• Senior point guard Leticia Romero established a career high in points (25) while tying her career high with 10 field goals made. Romero’s 20+ point performance was the third of her FSU career.
• Senior forward Ivey Slaughter added four rebounds to go along with her nine points. The Macon, Ga., native is now 10th on the FSU career list with 715 rebounds, and her 994 career points puts her six shy of 1,000. She is looking to become the 32nd Seminole with 1,000 career points.
• Senior Brittany Brown tied her season high with seven assists while adding 11 points, her 40th double-figure scoring performance at FSU.
• Redshirt junior guard Imani Wright sparked the Seminoles with 13 of her 15 points in the first half. She entered the game with two assists and recorded three vs. Gonzaga.
• Junior forward Shakayla Thomas added 14 points and seven rebounds, with her numbers on the glass tying a season high.
• FSU out-scored Gonzaga 45-35 in the second half, boosted by a fourth period where the Seminoles shot 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) from the floor. For the game, FSU shot 53.7 percent (36-of-67), its third game shooting above 50 percent this season.
• The Seminoles tied a season high with seven 3-pointers, going 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) on the night. Romero (3-of-4) and Wright (3-of-5) combined for six of the seven triples.
• FSU recorded 12 fast break points vs. Gonzaga, exceeding 10+ in all six of its games this season.
• The Seminoles out-rebounded Gonzaga 32-28, continuing their trend of not losing the rebounding battle this season.
• Florida State’s last two AP Top 25 wins have been by 18-point margins, including a 74-56 win over No. 18 Texas A&M in last year’s NCAA Second Round.
• Over the last four games, FSU has outscored its opponents 112-50 in the first period.
• On Saturday at 9 p.m. AST/8 p.m. EST, FSU will go for its fifth Caribbean-based tournament title as it faces Michigan.