Freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson proved to be unstoppable again, piling up 34 points to lead Florida State Women’s Basketball in a hard-fought road win at Kent State, 80-71, on Thursday night at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio.
It was the most points by an FSU player since Morgan Jones had 36 in double overtime vs. Clemson on Jan. 21, 2021. Latson went 13-of-24 from the field and nailed four 3-point field goals in the comeback win for the Seminoles, who clawed back from an 11-point deficit.
Big plays were made down the stretch by Taylor O’Brien and Sara Bejedi. O’Brien’s 3-point field goal gave FSU a late two possession lead at 70-64, and Bejedi helped ice the game away with free throws toward the end of the game while taking a commanding presence with the ball in her hands.
FSU out-scored Kent State 21-9 in a defensive-dominated fourth quarter, holding the Golden Flashes (0-1) scoreless through much of the frame. O’Brien finished with 11 points and Bejedi added 12 for the Seminoles (2-0).
Latson dropped 12 more points in the third quarter as FSU let Kent State get out to a run early but clawed back to make it a 62-59 deficit through three. She fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, but her teammates prevailed and put the game away.
FSU held a 39-38 lead at halftime, aided by a key 11-2 run that included two 3-point field goals by Bejedi and consistent stops on the defensive end. Latson had 17 of FSU’s 39 points at the break as the Seminoles out-scored Kent State 22-1 in points off turnovers. Kent State responded right before the end of the half with an 8-0 run of its own, as Lindsey Thall led the Golden Flashes with 12 points at the break.
Some early foul trouble hurt the Seminoles in the first quarter, as they were whistled for seven fouls and trailed 18-17. Latson scored eight of FSU’s 17 points early, getting to the basket at will. Mariana Valenzuela played big minutes off the bench with five points in the opening frame, including a 3-pointer from the right wing.
Florida State returns home for a Sunday matchup against Georgia State at 2 p.m. at the Tucker Center.