Virginia Upends No. 17 Florida State, 85-68
Jan. 19, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s basketball team (9-9, 2-3 ACC) upset No. 17 Florida State (14-4, 2-3 ACC) 85-68 on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 19) at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, handing the Seminoles their third-straight loss.
The victory was the first win for the Cavaliers over a ranked team since upsetting then-ranked No. 24 Florida State 72-60 in Charlottesville in the 2012-13 regular-season finale (March 3, 2013).
“I am excited about the win and the game as a whole,” Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle said. “Florida State is a great team and I’m really proud of our team and how they responded after the Duke game. We had good prep days, so that always bodes well. I know there is a spirit about this team that we are not just going to lay down and die. We are not going to be perfect every game, so I was glad to see how we regrouped and came through.”
Sophomore guard Faith Randolph (Derwood, Md.) came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points, her fourth 20-point game of the season, making nine of 16 field goal attempts. Randolph also had four assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Senior guard Ataira Franklin (Bowie, Md.) logged her first double-double of the season and the fourth of her career with 18 points and 10 rebounds with four assists and three blocked shots.
Florida State was also led by a non-starter with Emiah Bingley coming off the bench to score 21 points. Natasha Howard scored 15 points with eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
Virginia made eight three-pointers (on 11 attempts) in the first half with Randolph scoring 20 points in the period. The Cavaliers, who mounted a 15-1 scoring run early in the game, took a 47-31 lead into the break.
After Florida State scored the first five points of the second half, junior center Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria) scored seven consecutive points to help the Cavaliers regain their momentum.
Virginia twice extended the lead to 20 in the second half, including taking a 76-56 lead after a free throw from freshman guard Tiffany Suarez (Miami, Fla.). FSU whittled the lead to 12, 80-68, with 1:36 remaining, but redshirt senior guard Lexie Gerson (Fort Washington, Pa.) answered with a layup for the Cavaliers after getting a feed from Suarez. Gerson stole the ball back on the next possession, finding Imovbioh under the hoop. Imovbioh got a rebound off her own miss, passing the ball back to Gerson who pulled up for a jumper with 38 seconds remaining to seal the game.
Gerson recorded a career-high eight assists while also scoring nine points with six rebounds and four steals.
“My shooters were hitting shots and honestly I was just getting them the ball,” Gerson said. “I was trying to get them easy layups and swing passes. They were making me look good.”
Freshman guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) made the first start of her career, scoring the first basket for the Cavaliers. She ended the game with five points and two rebounds.
The Seminoles outrebounded the Cavaliers, 48-39. UVa forced 27 turnovers while only committing 10.
Virginia shot 42.5 percent (31-of-73) while making 52.6 percent of its three-point attempts (10-of-19). Florida State shot 40.4 percent (23-of-47) while going 7-of-22 from three-point range.
The Cavaliers will finish the current stretch of four-straight games against ranked teams on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 6:3:0 p.m. when they host No. 6 Maryland (15-1, 3-0 ACC). The game will be televised live on the ACC Regional Sports Networks.