Veteran FSU continues dominance against UM

Erykah Davenport
Senior forward Erykah Davenport fights for a loose ball against Florida State. The No. 12 Seminoles beat Miami 91-71 Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Watsco Center. Davenport notched her ninth double-double of the season, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Photo credit: Josh White

From start to finish, No. 12 Florida State’s experience, athleticism and skill were on full display.

The Seminoles led for all but 34 seconds, dominating the Miami Hurricanes 91-71 on Sunday, Feb. 11, afternoon at the Watsco Center as part of the annual Play4Kay game.

“The game was lost by us in defensive transition,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “We looked very young and immature when we missed a shot, and you don’t have time for any type of an emotional reaction to a missed shot … You don’t get to act double pitiful and whine about it because you’ve got some unbelievable talent on the other team that’s just running it down our throat.”

Florida State (21-4, 8-3 ACC) shot an efficient 55 percent from the field and finished with four players scoring in double-figures.

Senior guard Imani Wright led the way for the Noles, scoring 21 points and making four three-pointers, while fellow senior Shakayla Thomas tallied 19 points and five rebounds.

Sophomore guard Nausia Woolfolk finished one rebound shy of a triple-double, collecting 16 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds off the bench. Senior center Chatrice White notched 14 points and five rebounds.

“Florida State chose effort every time, and Miami did not choose effort every time,” Meier said. “When we chose effort, it was a heck of a game to watch … They don’t ever quit, and they broke us. We’ll learn from it.”

The Hurricanes (17-8, 7-5 ACC) kept pace with the Seminoles in the opening minutes, but then Florida State took over.

FSU opened the second quarter on a 16-2 run, ultimately taking a 52-36 advantage into halftime.

Florida State shot 57 percent from the field in the first half compared to 44-percent shooting for Miami.

The Noles owned the glass with a 43-29 advantage, leading to a 12-3 margin in second-chance points.

Miami senior forward Erykah Davenport tallied her ninth double-double of the season, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while fellow senior forward Keyanna “Keke” Harris collected 13 points. Freshman guard Kelsey Marshall added 10 points.

“Every time we step on the floor with Florida State, it’s a battle,” Davenport said. “It’s definitely a battle mentally. In spurts, I wasn’t there. So that was kind of the story of the game.”

With the loss, Miami fell to a 14-43 all-time record against Florida State. The Seminoles’ victory marks coach Sue Semrau’s 400th win of her career.

“Credit to the program for their support,” Semrau said. “You can be somewhere a long time and not win … What really makes it special is all of the players. That’s what it is all made of.”

While the two rivals have gone head-to-head on the hardwood twice this season, the game on Sunday was bigger than basketball.

“There were a lot of inspirational stories in our building tonight,” Meier said. “There were a lot of reasons to play our guts out … It’s deeper than just the game. I thought today it was beautiful to see all the survivors there.”

The Canes will return to action when they host Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Watsco Center.

Florida State returns home to face Clemson at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.