Clemson, SC - A hard-nosed rebounding effort by the Florida State women’s basketball team elevated it to a 59-43 victory at Clemson on Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C.
The Seminoles (18-9, 6-8) recorded a season-high 56 total rebounds, including a season-best 30 on the offensive glass. The 30 offensive rebounds were the most Clemson has ever given up, as FSU used a lot of long rebounds to help maintain possession for the majority of the game.
Senior forward Natasha Howard became Florida State’s second all-time leading scorer on Sunday, producing her 38th double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds. It was also Howard’s 12th double-double of the year, tying the single-season record held by former player Laine Lasseter, who totaled 12 when she was a freshman in 1978-79.
“Our rebounding was great today,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well but the rebounds allowed us to have more possessions and get second-chance opportunities. It was a good win for us and now we have to focus on a very good team coming to Tallahassee on Thursday in Georgia Tech.”
Howard passed FSU great Tia Paschal for second on the single-season scoring list, now showing 1,666 career points. The FSU leader in career scoring is Sue Galkantas (1980-84), who scored 2,323 points.
Clemson was held to 32.6 percent shooting (15-of-46), and made just eight second-half buckets. FSU capitalized on second-chance points all afternoon, winning the battle 25-14. Freshman Ivey Slaughter helped the ‘Noles with points and rebounding in the paint, scoring seven points and nine rebounds.
Fellow freshman Brittany Brown was all over the court on Sunday, hustling after loose balls and making the little plays that mattered. The Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native garnered a career-high 11 rebounds and added six points. Overall, FSU shot 23-of-67 (34.3 percent) from the field.
The victory today puts Florida State in a three-way tie for eighth-place in the ACC with Miami and Virginia with two games left to play in the regular season.
FSU charged out to an 8-0 run to begin the second half and held a 38-23 lead with 15:50 remaining in the game. Five of those eight points were scored by Morgan Jones on an offensive put-back and a 3-pointer from the left wing, marking her 51st trey of the year to tie her with former players Wendy Hampton and Mara Freshour for ninth on the single-season list.
The Tigers responded with a quick 6-0 run to cut the FSU lead to 38-29 with 13:41 remaining. However, the ‘Noles used a key corner 3-pointer by Emiah Bingley and an inside bucket by Howard to get back to a 43-29 advantage. Both teams were turning the ball over quite a bit over the next media stretch, but FSU maintained a double-digit lead at 47-35 with 7:06 left.
After Nikki Dixon’s free throw cut the Clemson deficit to 47-38 with 4:22 left in the game, Jones made a big 3-pointer from the corner to put FSU back to a double-digit lead at 50-38 and helped stop some of the Tiger momentum. A few possessions earlier, Howard grabbed an offensive rebound to mark her 38th career double-double and her 12th this season, tying the school single-season record.
An offensive rebound and turnaround jumper off the glass by Cheetah Delgado beat the halftime buzzer to help Florida State to a 30-23 lead at halftime. The ‘Noles generated 23 offensive rebounds in the first half, just one shy of their former season high of 24 against Boston College. FSU shot 28.6 percent in the first half while Clemson hit 35 percent of its shots.
Slaughter led FSU with seven points at the half, while Brown totaled six and a career-best eight rebounds. Slaughter also had seven boards, three short of her 10th double-double with 20 minutes left in the game.
Slaughter powered the ‘Noles early with five points and four offensive rebounds at the 15:30 mark as FSU held a 10-8 lead. Clemson jumped out to a 5-0 lead but the ‘Noles managed to scrap back on a few buckets from Jones and Slaughter. Brown knifed through the lane on a nice dribble drive and finished through traffic on the right side to put the ‘Noles on top 10-8 at the 15:52 mark.
FSU scored four of the next six buckets in the game, getting a spark from Bingley off the bench as she hit a mid-range shot from the baseline to give FSU an 18-12 lead with 10:43 left in the first half. The ‘Noles were all over the glass early, leading the rebounding battle 12-5 in the early going.
A key 6-0 run for FSU aided by the hustle plays of Brown helped the ‘Noles to a 24-16 lead with 3:26 left. Brown was fed on the break by a nice pass from Bingley for a left-handed scoop, and also had an offensive put-back with 5:05 left to put the ‘Noles ahead by eight.
FSU finishes the regular season next week with a two-game home stint. The ‘Noles host Georgia Tech on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3, followed by Senior Day on Sunday, March 2, vs. Virginia at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
For more information on Florida State women's basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).