Raleigh, NC - The No. 17/18 Florida State women’s basketball team could not contain the offensive execution of No. 20/21 NC State in the second half as it lost on Thursday evening, 80-57, at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.
For the first time this season, the Seminoles (14-3, 2-2) allowed 70 points against a Pack (16-2, 3-1) squad that entered the night as one of the ACC’s top long-range shooting teams. NC State connected on nine 3-point field goals and shot 46.7 percent from the field, a season-high allowed by FSU. NC State’s nine 3’s were tied for the second-most allowed by FSU this season.
Florida State’s streak of starting its first 16 games of the season without allowing 70 points or more ties a program record, as the 1972-73 team did not allow 70 points in all 16 games it played that year. NC State was consistent from the field in the second half, hitting 15-of-30 shots including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
“I thought NC State really executed their stuff tonight, especially in the second half,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They shot really well from 3-point range tonight and their experience really helped them in this game with (Markeisha) Gatling and (Kody) Burke. We will have to learn from this and improve because we’ve got another big game on Sunday at Virginia. This is what the ACC is all about sometimes.”
NC State’s crisp ball movement around the perimeter freed up open looks on the inside and some high-percentage shots in the paint. The loss for FSU breaks its four-game win streak at Reynolds Coliseum. Four double-figure scorers for the Pack did damage in the lane and beyond the arc, led by center Markeisha Gatling (20 points), forward Kody Burke (16 points), guard Myisha Goodwin-Coleman (12 points) and center Lakeesa Daniel (13 points).
Thursday’s game between both squads was also the first time in the last eight meetings to be decided by double digits. On a positive note for FSU, it committed a season-low 10 turnovers.
FSU lost for the first time this season when having three double-figure scorers. Senior Natasha Howard finished with 14 points and moved into ninth on the FSU all-time scoring list. It was her 33rd double-double effort of her career to extend her school record as she added 10 rebounds.
Freshman Ivey Slaughter had a good night from the field, recording 12 points and 11 boards for her seventh double-double.
Freshman Brittany Brown’s effort helped FSU early in the second half as it cut the game back to single digits at 42-34 when she drove in for a breakaway layup following a steal on the left side. The Pack seemed to always have a response, as Gatling scored on the inside and Coleman-Goodwin hit another 3 from the wing to put them back up 47-34. Another long-range jumper by Burke put the Pack up 52-37 at the 14:04 mark and prompted an FSU timeout.
Slaughter continued to work the glass and give FSU extra chances, finishing a layup with 12:59 left to leave FSU trailing 52-39. Krystal Barrett then buried a 3-pointer for the Pack 15 seconds left for another response shot, and a few more free throws by Daniel extended the Pack lead to 56-41 with 12 minutes remaining.
FSU outscored the Pack inside, 34-30, but were hurt by shooting 2-of-12 from beyond the arc while NC State was 9-of-22. NC State’s second-half run was punctuated by an old-fashion three-point play from Miah Spencer to break the game open at 67-47 with just under eight minutes left.
FSU faced just its fourth halftime deficit of the season as well as its largest, trailing 37-26. Slaughter and Howard led FSU with eight points apiece, while Slaughter was aggressive on the glass with a team-high seven rebounds. NC State shot 43 percent in the first half and canned seven of its eight free throws. The Pack got good ball movement to create open looks outside and in the post, using 11 assists to its advantage. For the game, NC State finished with 23 assists.
Florida State did not allow the Pack to get much inside early. Two contested 3-pointers by NC State’s Len’Nique Brown that were beyond 21 feet gave them an early 6-4 lead at the 15:29 mark. Howard started the game with a basket inside a nice entry pass from Morgan Jones, who threaded the assist between two NC State defenders.
Freshman Kai James gave the ‘Noles a spark in her first action in the game, hitting an elbow jumper immediately then sealing in the post and getting an inside bucket to cut FSU’s deficit to 14-10. At the 11:43 mark of the first half both teams combined to shoot 10-of-29 in what was a physical game.
NC State went on a 7-0 run toward the latter part of the first half, capped by a 3-pointer from Goodwin-Coleman from the wing to give the Pack a 29-19 lead. Redshirt senior Lakeesha Daniel exploited some opportunities in the post and hurt FSU with 12 points in the first half, just one away from her career high.
Florida State heads back on the road as it faces Virginia on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. in Charlottesville, Va.
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