(3) Florida State defeated (14) Arkansas-Little Rock 91-49 to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Shakayla Thomas started the game in fine fashion for the Seminoles by getting a layup off of an aggressive drive to the basket. However, Little Rock had a nice response as the Trojans rattled off an 8-2 run to take an 8-4 early lead. FSU then came back with an 11-0 run that was capped by a layup from Imani Wright. From there the two teams traded baskets for the rest of the quarter and it ended with the Noles up 22-15.
In the second quarter FSU made a move. The Noles started the quarter on a 7-0 run on the strength of triples from Nicole Ekhomu and AJ Alix. After a Chatrice White free throw the Seminoles were up 29-15. The Noles weren’t finished. FSU went on a 16-2 run to end the half that pushed the score to 53-30 at halftime.
Florida State followed that up by scoring the first 15 points of the third quarter to secure a commanding 67-30 lead. From there UALR was never able to cut the lead closer than 30 points and the Noles cruised to a 91-49 victory.
Thomas led the Seminoles in scoring with 26 points on 11-15 shooting. White had a strong game with a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.
This game was how FSU wants to play. Thomas attacked the basket with regularity and didn’t fall into the trap of settling for too many jumpers. The Noles took threes when they were there but they didn’t force the action. FSU also did a good job of playing inside out. The Noles controlled the backboards dominating the Trojans 42-20.
Overall this was exactly the type of game that Florida State needed after a two week layoff. The Noles played well against an over-matched opponent and were able to build momentum for the second round.
Florida State will take on the winner of the (6) South Florida vs (11) Buffalo game on Monday.