TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second game in a row the Florida State women’s basketball team needed five extra minutes to decide its Atlantic Coast Conference contest. Unfortunately, this time the Seminoles could not pull out the victory. Virginia shot perfect in the overtime to beat Florida State, 69-66, on Saturday (January 26) at the Donald L Tucker Center.
Florida State had its three-game winning streak, and four-game run over Virginia, snapped as it fell to 14-7 overall, 4-2 in the ACC. The Cavaliers improved to 15-5, 4-1 in the conference.
“I was proud of my team for the way we fought back,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Credit Virginia, they hung in there when we went up five they came back and were able to tie the basketball game.”
Four different players scored in double figures for the Seminoles, led by forward Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) with 15 to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. Guard Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) scored 14 points for the second game in a row while Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) had 12 and Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored all 10 of her points in the second half.
The Cavaliers scored 46 points in the paint – a season-high for an FSU opponent – to help the visitors hold a 46.9 percent (30-of-64) to 35.9 percent (23-of-64) advantage from the floor. Virginia also out-rebounded Florida State 44-to-36 with Aisha Mohammed grabbing 21 boards. Florida State was sharp from the free throw line, hitting 72.7 percent (16-of-22).
Florida State overcame a 12-point second half deficit to push the game to overtime. In extra frame, the two teams traded baskets with Mohammed’s lay-up knotting the game at 64-64. A turnover and missed shot allowed Virginia to claim a 69-64 lead with 2:21 remaining. A jumper by Davis-Cain stopped a two-minute dry spell and pulled the Seminoles within three (69-66), but they missed their last three shots in the finale minute.
Down 34-22 just 26 seconds into the second half, Florida State battled back to cut the Virginia margin to one (43-42) on a Davis-Cain three pointer. The Cavaliers responded with an 8-1 run to take a 51-43 advantage, but the Seminoles answered with a run of their own. Six different players scored in a 13-0 run with Williams’ lay-up giving FSU a 56-51 advantage. Virginia came back to tie the game and the two teams exchanged a pair of baskets to send the game to overtime.
It took Florida State a few minutes to find its offensive rhythm to start the game as it only made two baskets through the first four minutes and were down 4-8. Keyed by a lay-up and two free throws by Freshour, the Seminoles went on a 9-0 run to claim a 13-8 lead at the 13:55 mark.
Unfortunately, the Seminoles would go cold for the next six and a half minutes without a basket. The Cavaliers would not play much better on offense as they could only muster a 13-16 advantage. Another Freshour jumper stopped the slide and started a 6-0 run that allowed the Seminoles to take a 19-16 advantage.
A Cayla Moore (Albany, Ga.) put back made it a 21-18 game with 4:51 remaining, but FSU would not score for another four and a half minutes. Virginia went on an 11-0 run during that stretch to open up a 29-21 lead. A free throw by Davis-Cain with 24 seconds remaining would be the Seminoles’ lone point the last five minutes as Virginia took a 31-22 lead into the locker room.
The difference in the first half was the play inside as Virginia got 24 of its points in the paint, compared to just 12 for the Seminoles. As a result, the Seminoles were out-shot by Virginia 41.2 percent (14-of-34) to 25.8 percent (8-of-31). Both teams only made one three pointers and committed eight turnovers. Virginia held a 25-to-21 advantage on the boards.
Leading the Seminoles offensively was Freshour with six points while Ward was a point back. Monroe had four points, five rebounds and three blocks. Williams dished out three assists.
The Seminoles are off for the next eight days. They’ll return to the court on February 3 when they take on No. 23 Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. The game can be heard on 100.7 FM and Seminoles.com. It will also be broadcast on Fox Sports Florida.