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Balanced Attack Leads Noles Past Canes

Balanced Attack Leads Noles Past Canes
Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-14 19:18:27-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) — The Florida State women’s basketball team (8-5, 7-5) was able to avenge their road loss against Miami (8-9, 5-9) from just a week ago and come out strong with a 67-59 win for their ‘Paint it Pink’ game at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

“I’m really proud of this team and their ability to put two wins back-to-back and just being on our home floor helps so much,” Interim Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff said. “I’m really just happy with how we played tonight and how we were able to hang on to win this game.”

The Seminoles are now 6-0 at home this season, with five of those games being against ACC opponents. The Noles are also 10-2 against the Hurricanes in their last 12 regular-season games and 15-3 against their in-state rivals over the past six regular seasons.

An overall team effort propelled FSU to their seventh conference win of the season, with four players in junior Kourtney Weber (15), redshirt junior Bianca Jackson (13), sophomore Sammie Puisis (12), and junior Valencia Myers (12) all scoring in double digits. This is the first time that the Noles have had four players score in double figures since Dec. 31 against Virginia Tech.

“We started the game a lot better this time. We limited our turnovers, especially in the first half, and we were able to keep the lead,” said Weber about their performance today compared to last week’s performance. “The biggest thing is we played as a team today where everybody was looking for each other and it was really balanced.”

Weber led the team in scoring this afternoon with 15 points on 6-10 shooting. She also put up two assists, two rebounds, and a steal.

Jackson recorded a career-high eight assists to go with her 13 points scored in this game. This was her fourth-straight game scoring in double digits.

Puisis played a well-rounded game for the Noles, as she was able to score 12 points, along with three assists, three rebounds, and three steals. This was her first time scoring in double digits since Jan. 21 against Clemson.

Myers also performed well with 12 points this afternoon on 6-8 shooting and also had six rebounds. This was Myers’ fourth game this season with double-digit points and fifth-straight game with at least five rebounds.

Junior Morgan Jones and sophomore River Baldwin both contributed on the glass, bringing down eight and six rebounds respectively and combining for 10 points in this game.

The Noles were able to gain an advantage over Miami from behind the three-point line, outscoring them 39-30 percent. FSU also out-gained the Hurricanes in rebounds, 33-30, and steals, 8-3.

“We were able to defend [Miami], force tough shots, and then secure the rebounds,” said Wyckoff about her team’s defensive performance. “We always know where to be, it’s just a matter of what we do when we get there, and right now we’re doing good things when we get to where we need to be.”

The Seminoles were down 2-0 against Miami early in the first quarter and never trailed in the game after that. The Noles were able to respond being down with 10 straight points early in the first period behind back-to-back threes from Weber and Puisis. FSU expanded their lead to 18-8 at the end of the period, leading in each of their last four first quarters played.

With another pair of threes from redshirt junior Sayawni Lassiter and Jackson and a layup from Myers, the Seminoles were able to bring their lead to 15 points halfway through the second quarter. The Noles held Miami scoreless for the final 3:13 of the first half and took a 35-21 lead going into the break.

Entering the third quarter, FSU kept a distant lead for most of the period behind early scoring from Myers and Weber. Miami was able to answer being down double-digits late with a 10-2 run to end the quarter and cut the lead down to seven points.

The Noles played very well defensively to start the final period of the game, not allowing the Hurricanes to score in the first 4:15 of the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Weber and a pair of free throws from Jackson late in the fourth put the Seminoles back up by double figures to secure the win against the Hurricanes.