Women's Basketball

No. 5 Florida State Crushes Eagles Behind Thomas’s 20 points

The Eagles had their work cut out for them on Thursday night as the No. 5ranked Seminoles took the trip up to Chestnut Hill.

Entering the night on a seven-game winning streak, Florida State had no intention of slowing down. With spectacular performances by guards Leticia Romero, Imani Wright, and Brittany Brown, the Noles put on a show Thursday night. None, however, were as spectacular as forward Shakayla Thomas, who recorded five rebounds, five steals, and a game-high 20 points on just 12 shots.

Dominating in nearly every category, FSU outrebounded Boston College women’s basketball 43–25, pulling down 13 offensive boards in the first half alone. Also winning the turnover battle, the Eagles doubled Florida State’s turnover total (18-9) by the end of the game. Shooting a clean 50 percent from the field, as opposed to BC’s 39.6 percent, the feisty Noles came away with a resounding 85–53 victory at Conte Forum for their 21st  win of the year.

As hot as anyone in women’s college basketball right now, Thomas set the tempo early for Florida State (21-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast), winning the opening tipoff and shooting 3-for-3 from the field in the opening quarter. Unfortunately for BC (8-15, 1-9), the Eagles had little success getting their stars hot to open the game.

Shooting a mere 2-for-10 in the first half, BC star Mariella Fasoula was not having the offensive night the Eagles are used to from her. More importantly, neither she nor her teammates managed the kind of offensive first half necessary to hang with the ACC-leading Seminoles, shooting only 37.5 percent from the field in the first half.

Managing their own 5–0 run in the opening minutes of the game, the Eagles found themselves tied at 7 apiece after an early five-point deficit. Regrettably, this would be as close as the Eagles got to their opponents atop the conference.

Closing out the first quarter with five-straight points, the Noles continued into the second at a tearing pace. Extending its scoring run, Florida State managed nine additional points—14 unanswered total—before BC found the basket.

Trading baskets for  most of the second, FSU found its second wind with five minutes left. Closing out the half on a 12-4 run and outscoring BC 18-8 in the period, FSU brought a comfortable 22-point lead into the locker room.

Despite opening the scoring in the third, two quick BC turnovers in the period ensured that the flaming hot Seminoles kept right on their roll. Outscoring the Eagles 25-16 in the quarter while Fasoula sat with four fouls, Florida State pulled out to a 32-point lead which the team wouldn’t relinquish.

Head coach Sue Semrau’s seniors, with the win tonight, became the winningest class of FSU women’s basketball players in school history, and it’s not difficult to see why. Boasting their best rank in program history, the Noles have the most wins against AP-ranked opponents this year with eight. With seven players scoring eight or more points on the night and an average margin of victory over the last seven games of 22.3 points, FSU is clearly establishing itself this season as one of the best women’s college basketball programs in the country.

BC, meanwhile, entered the contest under more humbling circumstances. In the midst of what is now extended to a nine-game losing streak, the Eagles were reeling as their strong inside game met the brick wall of FSU’s defense who managed five blocks and 13 steals.

The Eagles are searching for consistency among their young lineup, but the loss to FSU did have its bright spots. Kelly Hughes lit up the court, shooting 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and leading the Eagles to 6-for-11 shooting from 3-point range, their best percentage yet this year. These shooting numbers are positive for the Eagles, which actually scored more efficiently from deep than FSU but could not match the consistency of the Noles.

“We couldn’t play quality offense for enough of our possessions,” head coach Erik Johnson said. “When we finally get that inside-outside ball movement, those possessions are really quality for us.”

With a rare off-game for Fasoula, BC’s improved shooting performance offers hope for its upcoming game Sunday against Syracuse, as long as the Eagles can cut down the turnovers.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor

February 3, 2017

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