HOUSTON, TX (SEMINOLES.COM) — A lock-down defensive effort in overtime helped elevate the Florida State Women’s Basketball team to a physical 79-73 overtime victory at Houston on Saturday at the Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas.
The Seminoles (5-0) move to 5-0 for the first time since the 2019-20 season. FSU out-scored the Cougars (1-3), 11-5, in overtime and held them to just 2-of-8 in the extra frame.
Graduate guard Jazmine Massengill set the tone defensively with a career-high 17 rebounds. Sophomore Mariana Valenzuela added 11 off the glass while Erin Howard had 10 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
Freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson had big buckets late for FSU, leading the team with 21 points (8-of-14) along with four rebounds and four assists. Senior guard Sara Bejedi had a season-high 16 points, while sophomore Makayla Timpson added 16 points and five rebounds along with four blocked shots.
The Seminoles shot 47 percent (31-of-66) from the floor and had their best 3-point shooting performance of the year at 53.8 percent (7-of-13). Houston shot 33.3 percent (31-of-93) but was able to force 26 turnovers.
Timpson got the overtime going for FSU with two consecutive baskets underneath, followed by an O’Mariah Gordon coast-to-coast layup to make it 74-70 FSU with 3:49 left in overtime. Latson then delivered on the next possession to give the Seminoles a 76-70 cushion with 3:21 remaining, which ended up being more than enough.
Timpson had a good look from 15 feet to possibly give the Seminoles a buzzer beating win, but the shot rimmed out to force overtime at 68-68.
The Noles shot 69 percent in a helter skelter first quarter as they got out to a 22-12 lead. Bejedi led FSU with eight points while Timpson added six points. FSU shot 69 percent from the floor in the opening quarter and withstood Houston’s pressure right away, using a 12-2 run in the quarter to get itself going.
The Noles and Cougars went into the half knotted at 35-35 after Houston out-scored FSU 23-13 in the second quarter. Bejedi led the Seminoles with 11 points at the intermission, including a needed 3-point field goal to help FSU re-take the lead toward the end of the first half. Houston only committed four turnovers at the break and was able to turn the Seminoles over 10 times.
FSU was able to force more turnovers by the Cougars in the second half and used a third quarter where it shot 52.9 percent to put itself in an advantageous position moving forward.
The Seminoles will prepare for the Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya on Nov. 24-26. Florida State spends part of its Thanksgiving playing Oklahoma State at 11 a.m. ET on Nov. 24. FSU then faces Purdue on Friday, Nov. 25, at 1:30 p.m. ET and finishes with Harvard at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 26.