Emma Vargas, Correspondent (@ on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The FSU women’s basketball team played their last regular season home game with a sound win over the Pittsburgh Panthers 79-48. The evening was especially significant for the team’s seniors, who celebrated this victory on their senior night and added to the team’s record of winning five consecutive senior night games. Seniors Gabby Bevillard, Brittany Brown, Kai James, Leticia Romero, and Ivey Slaughter were recognized in a special ceremony with their families and Coach Sue Semrau before the start of the game.
The revered seniors certainly earned the attention and celebration they received tonight. They are the winningest team in the program’s history, with 103 wins overall and 50 ACC wins, the first team ever to accomplish this feat. For their third straight season, they have thus far held all of their opposing teams to under 60 points.
Tonight, these seniors also performed well individually. Three of the five scored in the double digits, with Romero’s points all coming from three-pointers. The team could consistently count on Romero, Brown, and junior Chatrice White to get points on the board during dry spells.
Coach Semrau had nothing but praises for seniors’ and the rest of the team’s performance.
“Working hard is the culture that these guys have created,” said Semrau. “They’re contagious in that they make everyone follow their lead. The way they’ve worked has set the standard and is part of our culture now.”
The Seminoles (25-4, 13-2) maintained a comfortable lead over Pittsburgh (13-15, 4-11) throughout the game. They made a strong statement in the second quarter when the FSU defense only allowed six Panther points for that quarter and 17 points overall as they headed into the half. The second quarter also saw a 14-1 run by Florida State, with even contributions among its players. Brown finished the half with a dramatic buzzer-beater three-pointer.
Pittsburgh’s scoring woes continued into the second half, although to a lesser degree. Throughout the game, they experienced many missed shots of all sorts and appeared discombobulated altogether. One exception to this was forward Brenna Wise, who scored 22 of her team’s 48 points. This, however, was not enough to close the Seminole’s 21-point lead at the beginning of the next half.
Both the third and fourth quarters contained dry spells from scoring that each lasted up to several minutes between both teams. Slaughter made significant contributions to her team’s points in the third quarter, and as usual served as a dependable playmaker in this game. The final quarter also had a series of three-pointers between Brown and Romero. In the final minute and 18 seconds, the seniors walked off their court for the last time in their careers, leaving the team’s younger players to finish the game.
“Mental toughness, personal growth, community service, and sisterhood are things which I developed and will carry with me from my time at Florida State,” senior Ivey Slaughter explained after the game. “Coach Sue encourages us to make positive impacts in people’s lives.”Both teams will move on to ACC Tournament play on Sunday. Pittsburgh will face Syracuse at
Both teams will move on to ACC Tournament play on Sunday. Pittsburgh will face Syracuse at 2 pm, while FSU travels to play at Notre Dame at 1 pm. In this, FSU is seeking to win its first ever ACC championship.