Tallahassee, FL - Leonor Rodriguez scored 26 points and Natasha Howard tallied her ninth double-double of the season, but those performances weren’t enough for the No. 19/20-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team on Thursday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles fell to NC State, 76-69, as FSU dropped to 19-5 overall and 9-4 in the ACC.
“I credit NC State, they came out and did a great job scoring in the paint, and we did a very poor job adjusting to that,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought we did a poor job communicating on the offensive end, making sure that we were getting the best looks that we could get. We didn’t shoot the ball well and they shot it extremely well. I credit NC State, they had a great game.”
Rodriguez, a senior guard, made 9-of-20 field goal attempts, all five of her free throws and 3-of-7 from behind the arc en route to the second-best scoring performance of her career and ninth 20-point game.
Howard, a junior forward, scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and senior guard Morgan Toles reached double figures for the third straight game, scoring 15.
The Seminoles couldn’t overcome their worst shooting performance of the season (37 percent), however, and couldn’t stop a Wolfpack team that shot 53 percent from the field – the first opponent to shoot above 50 percent against the Noles this season.
FSU also dished a season-low seven assists and allowed NC State to score 38 points in the paint.
After trailing for nearly the entire first half, NC State took a 36-35 halftime lead when Len’Nique Brown drilled a trey 26 seconds before the break.
The Wolfpack used an 11-3 run in the first four minutes of the second half to take control of the game and led 47-38 after a layup by Markeisha Gatling with 16:11 left in the game.
Six minutes later, Gatling’s jumper gave NC State its largest lead, 11.
FSU cut the deficit to 4 after Rodriguez drilled a jumper with just under six minutes left and Howard made a spinning layup that made the score 65-61 with 4:50 left.
Junior point guard Cheetah Delgado stole NC State’s inbounds pass seconds later, but Howard’s jumper missed.
NC State forward Kody Burke (26 points) made a layup to put the Wolfpack back up 6 with 3:36 left and the visitors were able to hold off the Seminoles down the stretch.
NC State improved to 13-12 overall and 5-8 in the conference.
Game Notes: The contest marked Florida State’s annual “Pain it Pink” breast cancer awareness and early detection game…The crowd of 2,492 was clad in pink in support of the cause and Florida State donned pink jerseys, socks, shoes and headbands…Leonor Rodriguez had her 22nd 10+ point game this season and 27th of her career…It was her 9th 20+ point game…scored her second highest point total ever…Natasha Howard had her 9th double-double of the season, recording 16 points and 10 rebounds, marking her 23rd for her career…Morgan Toles recorded 10+ points for the third straight game and the fourth time this season…NC State became the first team to shoot 50 percent or better against FSU this season.
Youth Day on Sunday
Before the Seminoles face North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sunday, all youth are invited to participate in a pregame ACC Day pep rally. The pregame social will begin at 12:00 p.m. and will feature special appearances by FSU Coaches, a free t-shirt, special block seating for the game (game aired nationally on Regional Sports Network) and other fun giveaways. We ask fans to register in advance for the event; click here to download the form:
For more information on Florida State women's basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page.