(3) Florida State (26-6) fell to (11) Buffalo (28-5) 86-65 tonight in Tallahassee.
The game started off even but Buffalo made a move late in the first quarter to take a five point lead on a Stephanie Reid jumper. Chatrice White answered with a triple but the Bulls took a 20-16 lead into the second quarter courtesy of a layup from Summer Hemphill.
Neither team could pull away in the second quarter until two minutes left when the Bulls ripped off an 11-2 run to take a 39-30 lead into halftime.
Buffalo started the third quarter where they left off the second in the form of a 7-2 run that saw them take a 46-32 lead. FSU would bounce back with five straight points to cut the lead to 46-37. From there the teams mostly traded baskets until the Bulls ended the third quarter with a four point mini-spurt to take a 59-45 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bulls started the fourth on a 6-2 run to take a 65-47 lead with about eight minutes left. The Noles fought back with a 7-2 run of their own but time was against the home team. FSU was down 69-55 with about four minutes left and was reduced to fouling to stop the clock. Buffalo went 14-16 on free throws in that four minute period and that effectively closed the door on the Seminoles.
Shakayla Thomas played great in her last game as a Seminole scoring 25 points. AJ Alix added 11 points in her last game as a Nole while Nausia Woolfolk chipped in with 12.
FSU couldn’t get anything going in this game except for Thomas. The Noles shot 3-25 from three and had 17 turnovers. The offense could never get on track in this one as Chatrice White, Imani Wright, Nicole Ekhomu and Ama Degbeon only had 17 points combined.
This was the last game for the five senior starters - Shakayla Thomas, Ama Degbeon, Imani Wright, Chatrice White, and AJ Alix. They were all extremely important factors in arguably the four most successful years in FSU women’s basketball history.
I will have much more on the state of the program, reflections on the season and thoughts on next year coming up in a future article. And, despite the disappointment of tonight’s game, the future of the program remains very bright.