Emma Vargas, Correspondent (@EmmaVargasFS)
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – In a tough and physical in-state matchup in Tallahassee, Florida State beat their rival, Miami, for the second time this season with a score of 80-71. This win extends the Seminoles’ win streak to nine games and gives them their 13th regular-season sweep over Miami.
The Hurricanes (17-6, 6-5) opened the fourth period by tying FSU (22-2, 10-1) 54-54 with a statement three-pointer from Keyona Hayes. From here, however, Miami could not attain a lead. A 12-0 run by Florida State’s Shakayla Thomas and Chatrice White, who together accounted for 40 of the team’s 80 points, widened the point margin once again, giving FSU the second-largest lead of the game.
A couple more threes by Miami closed the margin, but the final minute sealed the Seminole’s victory with seven FSU free throws and a dramatic dunk attempt in the final second by Thomas.
Both Thomas and White were critical players for FSU tonight. Miami head coach, Katie Meier, had a lot to say about the duo.
“White may have had the most points, but Thomas had the best timing,” said Meier. “When FSU needed a score, she made it, especially in the second half.”
White experienced what will be a memorable night for her career this evening, as she scored a season-high 21 points and had a career-high 14 rebounds; she also shot a perfect 10-10 from the -throw line.
“It’s always fun playing like this,” said White. “I love playing physical, it’s my style of play…I wanted to get excited to give my team energy, so that’s what I did.”
Miami also started the game strong against Florida State, holding a lead over the Seminoles for the first six minutes of the game. In that time, however, the Hurricanes were called several times for traveling, which provided FSU with a few extra possessions.
FSU took their first lead after a jump-ball and three-pointer, both by Brittany Brown, and they continued on to a 12-0 run from the end of the first period and into the first minute of the second period. In the second period, FSU built a solid lead for themselves, and they entered the half comfortably ahead of Miami, 40-32.
The third period is when the Hurricanes really put pressure on FSU. It was the only quarter that they outscored the Seminoles, 19-14. It was during this time that Florida State experienced a five-minute drought that began back in the first half. Despite this, Thomas drilled in seven points to help her team hold onto their lead into the fourth period.
“Shakalya played well in both halves, but she really woke up in the second half,” said Florida State head coach Sue Semrau of Thomas. “I credit her, because we have high expectations for her, and she carries that very well.”
Semrau also talked about her team still needing to improve.
“We’ve still got a lot to prove,” said Semrau. “It doesn’t matter if we’re the best Florida State team now, we need to be the best Florida State team at the end of the season. So there’s still work to do.”
The Seminoles will move on to face Wake Forest in Tallahassee this Thursday at 7pm, the same time at which Miami will seek to recover against Virginia.