FSU Women’s Basketball Cruises Past Alabama State in Tournament Opener


Saturday afternoon, the #2 seed FSU women’s basketball team hosted the #15 seed Alabama State Hornets in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament. Early on, the Seminoles struggled in the interior, leading by just 4 points with 8:44 to go in the 1st half. However, the ‘Noles went on a run to end the 1st half, allowing 0 points for the final 6:19 of the 1st half and extending the lead up to 37-19 at halftime. In the 2nd half, it was more of the same as FSU wore out Alabama State and ran the floor on them constantly, racking up easy layups and putting the game away with more than 10 minutes left, eventually winning by a score of 91-49.

Although struggling early with turnovers and getting good shots in the paint, Florida State woke up and turned in a fantastic performance. The ‘Noles forced 32 turnovers and took advantage of them, racking up 38 points off of those turnovers. They also had 42 points in the paint, 24 fastbreak points, and shot 52.5% for the game while holding Alabama State to just 32.1% shooting. FSU also drew a lot of fouls and made the free throws count, drawing 22 fouls and making 25 of their 29 free throw attempts.

Coach Sue Semrau of FSU commended her team’s performance after the game, saying:

"I just wanted to point out what I thought was the difference in the game which was our defensive pressure. I felt like we had a lot of athletes who played their tails off this afternoon and I am really, really proud of that."

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Shakayla Thomas showed why she earned the ACC Sixth Player of the Year award as she came off the bench and scored 17 points, which led all scorers, and 7 rebounds. Leticia Romero also had a big game with 14 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, just 2 short of a triple-double. Although they did have 4 scorers in double digits, FSU showed off its balanced attack with 10 of the 12 players who saw action getting on the scoreboard.

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When asked about the attendance for today’s game, which was announced at 5,536, the highest of the season and 4th highest in program history, FSU senior guard Maegan Conwright thanked the fans for today’s attendance and encouraged the fans to come out again for the second round game, saying:

"That was a great crowd for us. We’ve never had that big of a crowd before and you would call that a sixth man. They give us energy so for them to come out, it would be great."

With the win, FSU improves to 30-4 on the season, the first 30-win season in program history and moves on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where Florida Gulf Coast University is awaiting the ‘Noles after beating Oklahoma State earlier on Saturday. The 2nd round game against FGCU will take place on Monday night at 6 pm and will also be at the Tucker Center.