TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Sara Bejedi’s monster effort wasn’t enough on Sunday afternoon as Florida State Women’s Basketball fell to Louisville, 82-75, to mark their first home loss of the 2022-23 season.
Bejedi recorded her third consecutive 20-point game with 25 points (8-of-17) and nine fouls drawn, but the Cardinals (14-6, 5-2) used a 31-point fourth quarter full of tough shot-making to get past the Seminoles (16-4, 5-2).
Both defenses came to play as the game began with nine total missed shots before Bejedi hit a beauty of a 3-ball to open the scoring. She provided the game’s opening five points, eight in the quarter. This was her second-straight game with double-digit scoring in the first half.
Louisville found some offensive rhythm toward the end of the first quarter that carried into the second, allowing them back into the game and even briefly taking the lead before Ta’Niya Latson laid in a tough shot under the basket, earning the foul and converting the three-point play. The Noles held on to take a 33-29 lead into the half.
Sunday’s game marked the first time FSU lost when leading at halftime, now showing a 13-1 mark this season.
The start of the second half saw plenty of back-and-forth with Florida State holding onto a one-possession lead throughout most of the period but unable to create separation. O’Mariah Gordon checked into the game midway through the third quarter and her first touch was a textbook corner three that got the Tucker Center roaring into life. Maria Valenzuela hit a three of her own and the Noles had some of their energy back and a 57-51 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Louisville answered the Noles strong end to the third with a 7-0 run to take the lead and force an FSU timeout. Florida State caught their breath and a three-point lead with two jumpers by Latson and Makayla Timpson. From there, the Cardinals found success in the paint with numerous layups and pull-up shots to extend their lead to seven.
Bejedi again attempted to will the Noles to victory with a clutch three pointer and sunk her free throws to make it a one-point game. Former Seminole Morgan Jones and Hailey van Lith followed with timely shots to put the game out of reach in the final seconds. The two combined for 45 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists.
Bejedi led the Seminoles in scoring with 25 points, shooting 8-for-17 from the field, and achieving three straight 20+ point games. She has averaged 24 points over her past three games.
Sophomore Makayla Timpson was just shy of achieving her third-straight double-double with 12 points and seven rebounds in the loss. She led the team in total rebounds and offensive rebounds with three along with converting over 50 percent from the floor.
Graduate Jazmine Massengill was once again key in the performance, the swiss army knife putting up four points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Mariana Valenzuela shot over 60 percent from beyond the arc in the defeat, improving her team leading three-point percentage to 59 percent on 49 attempts. The forward shot sparingly, but made her shots count with six pivotal points.
Florida State next faces a tough Virginia team. FSU will travel up to Charlottesville for their game with the Cavaliers this Thursday at 7 p.m.