Tallahassee, FL - The No. 19-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team cut a 16-point halftime deficit to just three points, but ultimately fell to No. 8-ranked Maryland, 71-64, on Sunday afternoon at the Comcast Center.
After Florida State junior forward Natasha Howard made a layup to cut the Terrapins’ lead to 66-63 with 1:35 remaining, Maryland guard Katie Rutan hit a dagger three to put Maryland up by 6 with 1:11 left.
The Seminoles were led by senior forward Chelsea Davis, who scored 18 points off the bench, and senior guard Alexa Deluzio, who scored 15 points.
Reigning ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas did it all for Maryland, scoring 20 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and dishing six assists. Terps forward Tianna Hawkins added 17 points and nine boards.
Florida State trailed 40-24 at halftime.
“It was great ACC road battle for us, and we learned a lot,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “The competition in the ACC is tremendous. All of our games (in the ACC) are going to be tough. We’re a team that wants to get better. I love our chemistry, and I’m excited for this team moving forward.
“Alyssa Thomas didn’t disappoint today. Tianna Hawkins takes a lot of pressure off Thomas, too. I thought (Maryland’s) guards played well - stepped up and hit shots. It was a great fight.”
Florida State made just two of its first 14 field goal attempts and shot just 33 percent in the first half, but came out of the locker room a different team after the break.
The Seminoles, who shot 48 percent in the second half, slowly cut into the Maryland lead and then got back in the game with an 8-0 run with eight minutes left in the game.
With Maryland leading 56-44, Deluzio buried a free throw and senior Chasity Clayton rattled in a 25-foot three pointer to ignite the run. Junior guard Cheetah Delgado made a steal and fed Toles for a layup moments before senior guard Leonor Rodriguez made a steal of her own and dished a no-look pass to Howard, whose layup closed the score to 56-52 with 7:53 left.
For the rest of the game, the Seminoles threatened, but couldn’t cut the deficit to lower than three points.
After Davis converted a three-point play with 4:36 left in the game, the Noles had an opportunity to make it a one-point game. However, Thomas was there for the Terrapins to grab a rebound and sprint coast-to-coast for a layup to extend the Maryland advantage to 5 with 3:27 left.
The Seminoles return home to host Wake Forest at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Miami on Sunday at 3 p.m.