Strong Second Half Carries Noles Past Canes
MIAMI, Fla. (AP) – Imani Wright and Leticia Romero each scored 19 points, and No. 7 Florida State pulled away after halftime to beat No. 11 Miami 81-66 on Thursday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Shakayla Thomas scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Seminoles (13-1, 1-0), who have won 12 straight. Chatrice White added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Florida State, which outrebounded Miami 43-25.
Jessica Thomas had 20 points and Adrienne Motley scored 18 for Miami (11-2, 0-1), which had its 11-game winning streak snapped. Emese Hof scored 12 for the Hurricanes.
All of the Seminoles' 13 wins this season have been by double digits, and the lone loss was a two-point defeat against No. 1 Connecticut.
Miami came in 7-0 at home, never facing a deficit of more than three points on its own floor all season and trailing for a combined 6:30 in those seven games.
Florida State changed all that in the opening minutes, setting the tone.
The Seminoles led by as many as 12 in the first quarter and as many as 14 in the second, before a Miami flurry made it a one-point game at the half. Miami outscored Florida State 16-3 in the final 4:58 before intermission, with Motley making a pair of 3-pointers — as did Jessica Thomas, including a 25-footer from in front of the FSU bench as time expired.
But the Hurricanes never got the lead back. Florida State scored the first seven points of the second half to reclaim control, and took a 60-45 lead into the fourth.
POST-GAME NOTES BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
• The win by the Seminoles ties a program record for 12 consecutive wins, also held by the 2004-05 team.
• FSU is now 5-2 against Miami when facing the Hurricanes in an AP Top 25 matchup.
• Senior point guard Leticia Romero entered Thursday’s game averaging 16.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and shooting 60.9 percent vs. Miami. She finished with 19 points (7-of-11), six assists and three rebounds.
• Redshirt junior guard Imani Wright delivered 19 points while tying her season high with four 3-point field goals. It was Wright’s most points since also scoring 19 in the Paradise Jam title game vs. Michigan on Nov. 26.
• Five Seminoles finished in double-figure points: Romero (19), Wright (19), Shakayla Thomas (14), Chatrice White (13) and Brittany Brown (10).
• Shakayla Thomas recorded her seventh career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
• Junior center Chatrice White finished with her first career double-double at FSU, totaling 13 points and 10 rebounds. White led the Big Ten last season with 18 double-doubles.
• FSU extends its win streak on the road at Miami to five consecutive games, tying the program record that was held from Jan. 20, 1978-Dec. 12, 1981.
• FSU has now won eight of its past 11 ACC openers. The Seminoles are now 28-5 in their last 33 ACC games.
• Head Coach Sue Semrau recorded her 35th AP Top 25 win at FSU, while the program reached its 48th AP Top 25 win.
• Thursday’s matchup was the seventh time FSU and Miami faced off as ranked opponents, including the fourth straight matchup.
• The Seminoles were able to break away from the Hurricanes with a momentum-building third period, out-scoring Miami 28-14. FSU out-scored Miami 49-35 in the second half.
• Some other impressive stats for FSU: Out-rebounding Miami 43-25 and out-scoring the Hurricanes 20-4 on second-chance points.
• Florida State held a 32-31 halftime lead despite allowing a 16-3 run by Miami to end the half. FSU has led at the break in all 14 games played this season.
• FSU improves to 40-13 all-time against the Hurricanes.