Courtney Ward was in a shooting slump to start the season.
She broke out of it with a career-high 31 points, including
making a career-best seven 3-pointers – to help No. 16 Florida
State defeat 23rd-ranked Vanderbilt 72-66 on Sunday.
”I guess I was just feeling it more,” Ward said. ”It was just
something that came to me.”
Freshman Natasha Howard added 11 points for FSU (4-0), which led
33-25 at the half but fought off a furious second-half charge by
Vanderbilt (2-1) trailed for much of the game but gradually
chipped away at FSU’s lead and went ahead 38-37 with 13:32 left in
the second half on Tiffany Clark’s inside basket.
The teams traded baskets until the final minutes.
Ward made all six free-throw attempts in the game’s final
minutes, helping seal the win.
The Commodores were led by a pair of freshmen. Christina Foggie
scored 21 points – on 8 of 13 shooting – and Jasmine Lister added
”It’s one of those games where we wore ourselves out making our
comeback,” Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. ”We’ve had a
lot of injuries and haven’t had a lot of full-court practices. Our
kids were real tired. That’s the most tired I’ve seen one of my
Florida State made 10 of its 17 3-pointers (59 percent) while
Vanderbilt was 8 for 15 (53 percent). The Seminoles also
outrebounded Vanderbilt 36-24.
FSU held Vanderbilt’s Stephanie Holzer to six points in 27
minutes. Holzer had scored 46 points in the Commodores’ first two
games this season.
Vanderbilt dropped to 43-5 in November in Balcomb’s nine
seasons. All of the losses have been on the road.