Florida State's Courtney Ward celebrates with her teammates after beating Mississippi State, 74-71, on Sunday in the NCAA Dayton Regional semifinal Sunday in Dayton, Ohio. Florida State advances to play Connecticut in Tuesday's regional final.
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Senior guard Courtney Ward became the 24th player in Florida State women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points in a career and the No. 23 Seminoles mauled the Missouri Tigers, 75-43, at Mizzou Arena.
Ward’s milestone point occurred on a pretty 3-point jumper late in the first half Sunday. The long ball was part of a 25-10 opening-period run by the ’Noles (12-3), who rode that early momentum the rest of the game and stifled the Missouri (8-5) offense.
The Seminoles gave the Tigers their first home loss of the year by holding them to just 26 percent shooting and forcing 15 turnovers.
As for Ward, she finished with 14 total points in a game that saw three Seminoles score in double figures.
Junior forward and all-star candidate Cierra Bravard scored just two points in the first half but exploded in the final 20 minutes. She concluded the afternoon with a game-best 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
“This is a big-time school and big-time conference,” Bravard said. “We knew we had to be focused.”
Redshirt sophomore guard Alexa Deluzio added 11 points for FSU and sophomore forward Chelsea Davis contributed with nine points. Redshirt sophomore Chasity Clayton scored six points off the bench.
As a team, FSU shot 50 percent from the field and committed a season-low eight turnovers to go along with nine assists.
“Having more assists than turnovers is certainly a great trend for us and we have done that for three straight games,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Defensively, we have to give Christian Hunnicutt a lot of credit. She played a lot of minutes guarding their best player and the team around her made it that much easier.”
The Tigers led 11-7 early on before the FSU’s early run. Florida State went into the halftime break up 32-21.
FSU’s next game is also on the road. The Seminoles will travel to Blacksburg, Va. to open ACC play against Virginia Tech on Jan. 6.