Tallahassee, FL — In a battle to the finish, it was the No. 7 Florida State Seminoles who picked up the 72-65 victory.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz said before the game it would be a game of runs. In tonight’s matchup, Florida State closed out the game behind a huge push.
“I thought our physical effort was fantastic,” Coach Jeff Walz said. “Physical effort is great. It’s the mental side of it that has to get better.”
The Cardinals and the Seminoles fought for the lead in the first period.
Myisha Hines-Allen kicked things off as she grabbed a quick layup, but Florida State’s Romero countered banking in a jump shot.
Every time the Cardinals would score, the Seminoles would counter.
Louisville was able to grab a quick 6-0 run, taking a 12-8 lead behind scoring from freshmen Jazmine Jones and Ciera Johnson. The run force the Seminoles to burn a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Chatrice White grabbed a quick layup to bring the game within 2, but Jones fired off a jump-shot to put the Cardinals up by 4.
Unfortunately for Louisville, the ball found its way into Brittany Brown’s hands, who banked in a three-pointer.
At the end of the first, the Cardinals led, 14-13.
Louisville was able to force 6 Florida State turnovers and convert the turnovers into 6 points. While Florida State force 5 Louisville turnovers, the Seminoles were unable to capitalize.
Tallahassee native and Louisville freshman, Jazmine Jones led the Cardinals with 4 points. For the Seminoles, Leticia Romero and Shakayla Thomas added 4 points a piece.
Florida State ran out on an 8-2 run to start the second period, taking an easy 5 point lead and forcing a Louisville timeout with 5:50 to go in the half.
Out of the timeout, Asia Durr fired off a three-pointer.
However, Florida State went on another run, scoring 7 unanswered points. Both Imani Wright and Maria Conde nailed three-pointers and Brown put up a jump-shot. The run forced Louisville to burn its second timeout of the quarter with 3:08 remaining.
Louisville answered with a three-pointer from Kylee Shook, but at the half, the Seminoles held a 7 point advantage, 32-25.
The Cardinals were only able to make 3 field goals in the third period.
Florida State connected on 11-of-29 field goals in the first half, while the Cardinals knocked down 10-of-32.
Despite a dismal first half, the Cardinals came out of the locker room focused.
Brown was able to knock down a three-pointer to jumpstart the Seminoles’ second half. But, Asia Durr countered with a three-pointer of her own.
Florida State turned the ball over four times, allowing the Cardinals to sprint to an 8-0 run. A layup by Moore brought the Cardinals within one, 37-36 and forced the Seminoles to take a timeout.
Durr extended Louisville’s run, as the sophomore connected on a jump shot to put the Cardinals up 38-37.
Louisville scored 10 unanswered points, holding Florida State scoreless for nearly 4:00.
Thomas broke the drought for the Seminoles with a jump-shot, but Sam Fuehring countered for Louisville with a jumper of her own.
Louisville fired back with a huge third period, outscoring Florida State, 20-15. However, the Seminoles held a 47-45 lead into the final period.
In a high octane fourth period, the Seminoles were able to edge the Cardinals.
Thomas grabbed the first bucket, but Moore fired off a three-pointer, and Jones added two of her own as the Cardinals racked up 5 unanswered points.
Florida State fired back behind scoring from White, Ivey Slaughter and Thomas.
Again, Louisville sprinted out to a 9-0 run to take a 59-55 lead with 4:52 remaining.
However, a bucket by Thomas shifted the momentum to the Seminoles.
Florida State held the Cardinals scoreless the final 3:54.
The Seminoles outlasted the Cardinals in the fourth period to pick up a 72-65 victory.
“We’re a top-10 team, and I truly believe we are,” Coach Jeff Walz said. “We gotta take that next step. It’s mentally, not necessarily physically.”
The Cardinals had two players notch double-digits: Asia Durr paced Louisville behind a spectacular offensive performance. Durr racked up 21 points as she connected on 7-of-14 from the field, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. While Mariya Moore tallied 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Seminoles had four players grab double-figures: Shakayla Thomas led all scorers with 24-points on 9-of-24 shooting. Imani Wright notched 14 points as she fired off a team-best 3 three-pointers. Brittany Brown picked up a double-double behind 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Leticia Romero added 11 points.
The road ahead does not get any easier for the Cardinals. Next up, No. 9 Louisville takes on the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center.