TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 21-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team fought back again on Friday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center, battling past a physical Georgia Tech team to win 76-71.
Senior forward Chelsea Davis led the way for the Garnet and Gold with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting.
In a game that featured 14 lead changes, the Seminoles found themselves down 3 with 5:20 left in the game.
After splitting a pair of free throws to bring FSU within 2, senior guard Alexa Deluzio took a pass on the wing, drove down the key and was fouled while making a twisting layup. The layup tied the game at 68-68 with 4:12 left and her ensuing free throw gave the Seminoles a lead they would not relinquish.
Georgia Tech’s Dawnn Maye missed a runner on the next possession. Davis grabbed the rebound and was rewarded with a pass right back to her on the block where she converted a baby hook off the glass to give FSU a 71-68 lead with 3:31 remaining in the game.
Deluzio knocked a jumper that put FSU up 5 with 2:15 left and Davis, whose 10 field goals were a career high, fittingly iced the game when she made a putback to make the score 75-68 with 40 seconds left after senior guard Morgan Toles missed the front end of a 1-and-1 at the free throw line.
Davis’ clutch layup capped a 10-0 run for the Seminoles, who held the Yellow Jackets scoreless for five crucial minutes down the stretch from Tyaunna Marshall’s basket at the 5:20 mark to Brittanny Jackson’s jumper with 20 seconds left and the game already decided.
“In the last five minutes they didn’t score,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “Part of that was our rebounding and our focus. That just shows what we can do when we are focused. Lex (Deluzio) talked about the physicality. There were 14 fouls in the first half, and we didn’t get to the 1 and 1 in the second half until the five minute mark. That’s a tough team to beat and that’s a tough team to play. These ladies playing 30 plus minutes against that team … we are going to need to get an ice bath here to make sure they are ready for Sunday.”
Deluzio finished with just nine points in a game-high 35 minutes, but scored seven in the decisive final five-minute stretch.
Davis notched her third 20-point game of the season and matched her career-high with three blocks while playing a career-best 30 minutes.
“What a warrior,” Semrau said of Davis. “She battled. She came up with big rebounds on the defensive end, big blocks. Our guards did a great job of finding her and she did a great job of delivering.”
Senior guard Leonor Rodriguez and senior forward Chasity Clayton each added 10 points for the Seminoles, who shot 52.7 percent from the field – the ninth time the Noles have shot 50 percent of better this season.
The Yellow Jackets were able to stay in the game with the Noles by scoring 29 points off of 20 FSU turnovers.
The Seminoles came back from down 12 last Sunday to win at NC State and proved they were able to overcome adversity again on Friday night as they extended their win streak to four games and completed the season sweep of Georgia Tech.
Florida State gets little rest before returning to action on Sunday against Virginia Tech at the Tucker Center at 2 p.m.