WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The No. 12 Florida State women’s basketball team has been perfect on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference all season long and that trend continued Thursday night in Winston-Salem.
FSU withstood a surprisingly strong early start and then finish by Wake Forest before achieving an 82-79 win inside Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum.
The Seminoles (21-5, 9-2 ACC) are now a flawless 7-0 in league road-games and are 18-2 in those type of contests since the 2008-09 season. The win is also the ’Noles’ 14th in a row over the Demon Deacons (12-15, 3-8).
Florida State has now reached 21 overall wins in a season for the fifth time in head coach Sue Semrau’s tenure and for the third consecutive year.
Getting to that 21st victory meant holding on against a spirited Wake Forest squad that played better than its record would suggest. It appeared on multiple occasions that Florida State would run away with the win but with just under 1:30 to play, the ’Noles were up just 77-75.
After both teams traded two points, senior guard Christian Hunnicutt rebounded a Cierra Bravard miss and quickly scored to extend FSU’s lead and give her team the win.
“This is always a tough place to play,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They had their backs against the wall a bit and played that way. I was proud of the way that we kept at it and came away with a win.”
Bravard, who hit double figures for the 15th game in a row while also recording her sixth double-double of the season, led FSU in scoring. The Sandusky, Ohio native finished the night with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Redshirt sophomore guard Alexa Deluzio, who has been on a tear the last three games, had 18 points – all of which came in the second half. She and Bravard went a combined 13-of-14 from the free-throw line.
“I have always been an OK free-throw shooter,” said Bravard, who is the team’s top free-throw shooter this year. “I have just made sure all year to lock in and focus every time I go to the line. They fell tonight.”
Senior guard Courtney Ward added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists while freshman forward Natasha Howard had nine points and seven rebounds.
Hunnicutt also had nine points to go along with five assists and three rebounds and sophomore forward Chelsea Davis had eight points and four rebounds.
The Seminoles dominated the game at the free-throw line, connecting on 26 of their 30 attempts while Wake Forest went to the charity stripe just 12 times and made nine of those attempts.
FSU also came out on top on the glass, grabbing 41 rebounds compared to the Demon Deacons’ 24 boards. The Seminoles shot 43 percent from the field.
Wake Forest built a 15-5 lead just five minutes into the game before reality set in. The Seminoles scored 20 in a row and took a 35-27 lead into intermission.
Florida State’s next matchup is a big one.
The Seminoles host No. 17 Maryland at home on Sunday at 3 p.m. in a game that will air live nationally on ESPN2. Sunday is youth day so any adult ticket purchase comes with a free children’s ticket.
Kids in attendance will also have a chance to participate in promotions and win prizes throughout the ballgame.
Following Sunday’s game, FSU travels to play at Miami before returning home for Feb. 27’s home finale against Clemson. That contest will serve as Senior Day and the program will honor fourth-year players Courtney Ward and Christian Hunnicutt.
In addition to thanking the Seminole seniors for their hard work over the years, the women’s basketball program will thank the devoted fans.
Dubbed the “Thank You, Thank Them” game, Semrau will be out in the community next week distributing free tickets for all those that wish to come celebrate. Seminoles.com will have more information on the final home game early next week.