No. 16 Florida St. 72, No. 23 Vanderbilt 66

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.

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

17 points.

”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

teams.”

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.