Jan. 8, 2012
BLACKSBURG, Va. (Seminoles.com) - Virginia Tech came onto the court amidst a cloud of smoke on Sunday at the Cassell Coliseum, but the Florida State women's basketball team was the squad that came out on fire.
Sophomore forward Natasha Howard scored a dozen points in the first 10 minutes, and the Seminoles jumped out to a 30-4 lead en route to a dominating 75-40 win over the Hokies.
The Hokies burst onto the coliseum floor amidst some introductory smoke right before the game started, but came out flat.
Virginia Tech came into the game riding its first-ever 2-0 start in the ACC and had held its first two conference opponents to 35 points or under.
The Seminoles exceeded that point total in the first half, taking a 39-14 lead into the break.
FSU shot 57.1 percent from the field and held a 23-8 advantage on the boards in the first frame.
Five Seminoles scored in double figures, led by Howard's 16 points. Florida State's final rebounding margin was 45-19.
"Defensively, we were able to force some tough shots and we really rebounded the ball well," Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. "Rebounding had been a challenge for us. We hadn't been rebounding well and that was an emphasis for us coming into today's game. We forced some tough shots.
"Each player was focused on what they brought to the table. Today was quite a turnaround from who we've been lately."
The Seminoles jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first four minutes and built a 10-1 edge in rebounding by the first media timeout.
FSU stretched the lead to 11-2 six minutes into the game on a three-point swish from the top of the key by junior guard Alexa Deluzio. Less than a minute later, sophomore reserve forward Olivia Bresnahan made a layup to make the score 14-2.
Virginia Tech's second basket came on a layup by Latorri Hines-Allen at the 12-minute mark in the first half. The Hokies didn't score again until Hines-Allen made her second bucket with 5:14 left in the half, as FSU scored 16 consecutive points.
Howard started the run with three straight baskets and Clayton capped the game-changing spurt with a baseline layup six minutes before the break to put FSU ahead, 30-4.
Bravard scored all of her 12 points after halftime and finished with 11 rebounds to record her third double-double of the season and 15th of her career.
The Seminoles forced Virginia Tech into four shot clock violations throughout the duration of the game in one of the most dominating defensive efforts of the season.
The win over the Hokies continued the Seminoles' outstanding recent success on the road in conference games. Florida State is now 19-3 in ACC away games since the 2008-09 season.
The Garnet and Gold will look to continue their recent success on the road in the conference in Durham, N.C., on Friday night. The Seminoles face No. 7 Duke at 7 p.m. The game will air live on Fox Sports Carolinas and on ESPN3.
For more information on the Florida State women's basketball team follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball.