CANCUN, Mexico — Despite out-scoring Oklahoma State, 42-30, in the second half, Florida State Women’s Basketball absorbed its first loss of the season in an entertaining game against the Cowgirls.
The Seminoles (5-1) fell 79-77 Thursday in their first game of the Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico.
With 13.1 seconds left, Florida State rebounded a missed free throw from The Cowgirls (5-1) and called a timeout trailing by two. A well-drawn up play out of the timeout was nearly executed, but FSU could not convert on the layup attempt as time subsequently ran out following the miss.
Despite putting itself in a 49-35 hole at the half, FSU chipped away in the second half. Freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half and helped spark the Seminoles’ comeback.
Both teams played a back-and-forth fourth quarter where they were going shot for shot, as Oklahoma State always seemed to have a response to a big bucket made by FSU. Sophomore forward Makayla Timpson played big for the Seminoles and got good touches down the stretch of the game, recording 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
FSU shot 10-of-19 in a critical fourth quarter where they trailed 59-52 at the start. With 2:20 left in the game Claire Chastain of Oklahoma State hit a shot in the paint to give OSU a 76-70 lead with 2:20 left. Latson then scored FSU’s next five points with a couple free throws and a big 3-pointer from the corner to leave the Noles trailing 78-75 with 1:07 remaining.
A key stop by FSU was followed by Timpson getting one to go underneath to cut the deficit to 78-77 with 13.1 seconds left. The Noles then fouled and despite OSU hitting 1-of-2 from the line, the Seminoles couldn’t finish.
Two other double-figure scorers stepped up for FSU in senior guard Sara Bejedi (13 points) and sophomore O’Mariah Gordon (11 points). FSU out-scored OSU off the bench, 17-11, and had 13 fast-break points against OSU’s eight.
Oklahoma State’s Naomie Alnatas led four double-figure scorers with 19 points.
FSU plays its second game of the Cancun Challenge on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET against Purdue.