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Seminoles Make Statement in Win Over No. 11 NC State

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 23:11:26-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (SEMINOLES.COM) — Ta’Niya Latson and Sara Bejedi led Florida State Women’s Basketball to a resounding 91-72 victory over 11th ranked North Carolina State on Thursday at the Tucker Center, breaking a five-game losing streak to the Wolfpack and bouncing back from their first conference loss last weekend to remain in the upper echelon of the ACC.

“I can’t say enough of how proud I am of this group,” FSU Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff said. “The way they came out at the beginning of the game and competed, and they really made a statement on the defensive end. They knew going into this game they had to be great defensively and rebounding-wise, and they were. These two (Sara Bejedi and Ta’Niya Latson) were complete warriors on both ends of the floor and attacking like crazy. They carried our team in a lot of ways, and I’m super proud of them and our entire team.”

Ta’Niya Latson continued her sensational first collegiate season with an efficient night of shooting, converting 13 of her 16 shots for 31 points. The guard earned her sixth 30+ point game of the season and is currently on pace to shatter the single-season scoring record set by Sue Galkantas in the 1981-82 season with 710 points. Latson would finish with around 740 if she continued her pace.

Latson’s six 30-point games this season also established a new single-season record at FSU.

“After the last game I felt like I was out of whack, so I just tried to come out here in attack mode,” Latson said. “It was a reset button for me and the team. We just had to focus on the details and we did that.”

Florida State exceeded the challenge and did so convincingly to start, opening the game with a 14-5 run in just the first few minutes and shooting over 70 percent from the field forcing Coach Wes Moore’s Wolfpack side into an early timeout. Seven of the available 10 Seminoles scored in the first quarter as Bejedi led the way with eight points.

Latson and Bejedi led the FSU offense with double-digit figures in the first half while North Carolina State found some offensive rhythm and chipped into the Seminoles’ lead to make it a one-possession game before the Noles closed out the half with two momentum-shifting three-pointers. Mariana Valenzuela nailed her long-range effort before Bejedi’s shot from the logo beat the buzzer to put the Noles up 43-33 at the half.

The Seminoles had another offensive avalanche to start the second half with 22 points in the opening five minutes of the quarter to push their lead to a game-high 27 points. Latson had a near perfect quarter as she didn’t miss a shot on six attempts for 15 points that ultimately put the game out of reach.

The final quarter saw Makayla Timpson make a tough turnaround with six points and five rebounds to finish with her second-straight double-double. The Wolfpack outscored FSU in only the fourth quarter by a slim margin of 18-17 that ended in a 19-point loss.

One of the most versatile pieces of Wyckoff’s team includes graduate guard Jazmine Massengill, who filled up multiple categories of the stat sheet w/ six points, eight rebounds, and six assists. She currently sits fifth in the ACC in assists per game.

Bejedi continued her excellent form with 21 points and shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc. This is her second straight 20+ point game as she scored a career-high 26 points in the loss to Boston College.

Timpson shined further with her second straight double-double as she contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds, her eighth time this season.

Florida State next faces Louisville, who reached the NCAA Women’s Final Four last season, but have suffered two conference losses to Duke and Virginia Tech. FSU will host the Cardinals this Sunday at 1PM on ACC RSN/ Bally Sports Florida.