By Ariel Bedford
The Florida State Women’s Basketball Team’s final regular season game was indeed a microcosm of the disappointing reality of the current roster-lack of reliable ball handling, poor shooting, and inconsistent defense led to another loss-this Sunday it was at the hands of an upstart University of Virginia club…
The Lady Seminoles were able to keep it close midway through the first half, yet untimely turnovers, many on back-court errors and sloppy dribbling, allowed the Lady Cavaliers to gain a 35-28 lead via a 3-pt FG by UVA Guard Ariana Moorer with 1:35 left in the opening period. FSU attempted to go into halftime with momentum after Guard Alexia Deluzio converted a diving put-back shot under the rim with 14.4 seconds left to make the score 35-31. Moorer, resembling a female version of the young Allen Iverson, simply would not allow for State to get on track, however, and closed the half with a sensational drive that saw the 5’7” Senior display a dribbling arsenal that left FSU defenders stuck in quicksand and her hitting a pretty pull-up J in the middle of the lane to make the lead 37-31.
Moorer continued to torture the Lady Seminoles in the second period, knifing into the lane for another crisp running jumper at the 8:12 mark, as well as an inside bank-shot chipper that extended the lead to 51-42. The Woodbridge,VA via Queens, NY native then lost a bit of her composure as she trash-talked an FSU player coming back up the court which drew a technical foul and gave Florida State a brief shot in the arm. Off the fervor of the annoyed home crowd after Moorer’s antics, the Lady Seminoles rolled off seven unanswered points to pull within two of the Lady Cavaliers at the 7:11 mark. Virginia’s other sensational back-court baller, 5’11’ Sophomore Shooting Guard Ataira Franklin, stopped the bleeding with a three from the left corner baseline to make the score 54-51 with just over 6 minutes remaining. UVA never looked back, with Moorer turning a desperate defensive strategy of putting FSU Forward Chasity Clayton on her into an obvious mismatch, taking #00 to the cup and double-clutching in mid-air to complete a bank runner along with drawing a personal foul on her defender. After converting the free throw attempt, and more dismal FSU offense, the UVA Lady Cavaliers completed an 11-0 run at the 4:00 mark with a textbook trey by Lexie Gerson from the same spot on the floor as Franklin’s earlier shot. From there UVA cruised to their 21st victory on the year.
Below are thoughts on the game during the post-game press conference by Senior Cierra Bravard and HC Sue Semrau:
Bravard’s double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds on Senior Day (along with a solid effort on both ends from Forwards Natasha Howard and Chelsea Davis) simply was not enough. FSU will have to not only find a way to get Alexia Deluzio’s shooting on track, but also muster up more effective facilitation of the ball from the back-court in order to have any chance of stealing an NCAA tourney bid at the ACC Championships.