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Florida State women's basketball opens season with win over UNF

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Posted at 11:45 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 23:45:51-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( — The No. 16 Seminoles (1-0) began the women’s basketball season at home with a 78-50 win over North Florida (0-1) on Tuesday night. The win extended their lead in the series with the Ospreys to 11-0 all-time.

“I was really pleased with their effort tonight. They showed that we can be deep, apply a lot of pressure, and have a lot of ability on the boards,” said Head Coach Sue Semrau about her team’s performance.

Semrau returned to the sidelines after a single-season leave of absence to claim her 454th win all-time.

“I didn’t realize how much energy they gave me, and helping them to realize their potential is so fun as a coach,” said Semrau. “To come back and feel that kind of energy and see them respond the way they do is the best part of coaching.”

The Seminoles out-shot North Florida 44 percent to 32 percent. Redshirt senior guard Bianca Jackson led the Noles with a team-high 13 points.

FSU dominated the boards with 48 rebounds claimed compared to UNF’s 32.

“We had a lot of focus on rebounding this week and this season,” Jackson explained. “I was really impressed with our posts. They’ve been crashing really hard and creating a lot of second-chance points.”

Senior Morgan Jones was two points away from a double-double after she recorded 10 rebounds, which was just one shy from tying her career high of 11.

Many of the 11 returners had solid performances to begin the season. Valencia Meyers recorded nine points, eight rebounds, and two assists while River Baldwin finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and one assist. Kourtney Weber demonstrated her versatility with seven points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Jackson acknowledged the wide share of points across the roster as 10 different Seminoles scored.

“We had balanced scoring which will be huge for us this year. It will certainly help us later in the season when things tighten up,” said Jackson.

Freshman Makayla Timpson scored 10 points in her FSU debut, which was the second-highest total for the Seminoles. Mariana Valenzuela and O’Mariah Gordon also contributed to the victory in their debuts with seven and five points, respectively. Valenzuela also recorded the second-most rebounds for the Noles.

“It’s easier to get off to a better start by playing hard,” shared Semrau. “No matter whether we’re experienced or not, we made North Florida uncomfortable which made it easy for us to jump out earlier.”

The first quarter began as a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, but the Seminoles held the lead 20-10 after a strong 15-2 run to close out the quarter.

The Garnet and Gold bench spearheaded the points in the second quarter with 11 points led by Timpson with four. The offense excelled near the end of the quarter to double the lead to 40-20 at half.

Baldwin spurred a great start to the third quarter with two free throws, a steal for two more points, and a defensive rebound which led to a field goal by Jones. Jackson led the Noles in the highest-scoring quarter of the night with six points.

The Noles capitalized on the Ospreys’ mistakes in the fourth quarter with 10 points off eight turnovers. Twelve different players logged minutes in the final quarter to solidify the win.

FSU is back in action on Sunday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. in the Donald L. Tucker Center against Milwaukee.