LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) – AJ Alix made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining and Nicki Ekhomu added a free throw with 7.8 seconds left, helping No. 12 Florida State hand No. 2 Louisville its first loss of the season, 50-49, Sunday.
The Seminoles (18-2, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 22-9 after the first quarter before rallying, taking their first lead at 37-36 in the third quarter. They won despite shooting just 28 percent overall.
Arica Carter’s 3-pointer put Louisville (20-1, 6-1) ahead with 1:54 to go. Alix answered from long range, then Ekhomu made the second of two from the line.
Louisville missed one shot and committed two turnovers in the final 30 seconds before Myisha Hines-Allen hit a layup as time ran out.
Hines-Allen finished with 13. The Cardinals made just 7 of 30 shots after halftime.
Shakayla Thomas had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Imani Wright scored 10 points for Florida State. The Seminoles have won four in a row and eight of nine.
Florida State: The Seminoles couldn’t have started worse, missing 14 of their first 17 shots and 22 of 32 in the first half. And yet, they trailed just 32-26 at the break and got within 32-29 early in the third quarter as the shots began falling. They created chances through an effective zone that slowed the Cardinals and made Asia Durr work harder for shots. Alix then made the big shot that stood behind several defensive stands.
Louisville: Coach Jeff Walz has said all along that his team wouldn’t go undefeated, and a Cardinals offense that relies on Durr’s shooting to get things going had to rely on others to fill the void as she struggled from the field. The Cardinals found a way in the first quarter but stumbled after that, particularly in the third quarter. Carter’s 3 was the only basket they got when needed as possessions ended either in missed shots or turnovers.
The Cardinals could drop a few spots but remain in Top Five with their first loss. FSU could break into the Top 10 after its signature win.
Florida State faces No. 5 Notre Dame on Sunday.
Louisville visits Miami in a Thursday morning matchup.
• Florida State’s program-tying best AP win matches when FSU defeated No. 2 Duke, 80-74, on Feb. 8, 2004, in Tallahassee.
• FSU’s win over the Cardinals was its ninth AP Top 5 win in program history.
• The Seminoles own a 4-1 record against Louisville since both have been in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
• Shakayla Thomas’ 14 points and 11 rebounds mark her 16th career double-double.
• FSU limited Louisville to just 17 second-half points.
• Senior center Chatrice White’s 16 rebounds tie her career high she set earlier this season against Sacred Heart.
• For the fourth time in the last five games, Ama Degbeon recorded double-digit rebounds, finishing with 10 against Louisville.
• FSU out-rebounded the Cardinals 52-42, and forced Louisville into 16 turnovers. Louisville was also just 2-of-15 from 3-point range.
• The Seminoles got the victory despite a season-low 50 points. FSU’s previous low in points scored was 69 at Clemson and Syracuse.
• FSU improves to 3-1 against the current AP Top 25.
• FSU starts 6-1 in ACC play for the fourth straight year. FSU is now 46-9 in ACC play since 2014-15.
• The senior class, led by four-year seniors Shakayla Thomas and Ama Degbeon, now has 103 victories. The program record is 106 by last year’s senior class.
• Imani Wright’s first-quarter 3-point field goal was her 68th 3-pointer of the season, tying her total from last year. She has 69 deep balls this season.
• Shakayla Thomas corralled eight first-half rebounds, her second-most going into the half this season (she had nine in first half vs. UNC).
• Louisville’s 10 second-quarter points were their second-lowest points in a quarter this season. It followed with its lowest points in a quarter at six in the third.