ATLANTA (AP) Florida State didn’t play like one of the ACC’s best shooting teams in the first half Monday night. Then the No. 10 Seminoles got their offense going.
Jacinta Monroe and Alysha Harvin led a second-half rally as Florida State (22-4, 8-2) defeated No. 19 Georgia Tech 69-59 to hand the Yellow Jackets their first home loss of the season.
Monroe had 12 of her 14 points in the second half and Harvin scored 11 of her 14 after intermission as Florida State hot 45.5 percent compared to just 29.2 percent in the first half.
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“She put the first in us and told us to go out and play,” said Monroe of coach Sue Semrau’s halftime talk. “We had to adjust our heart and our effort.”
The Seminoles, down by 10 points in the first half, broke the game open with a 14-4 run midway in the second half, taking a 56-45 lead with six minutes left. The Yellow Jackets, who had won 12 straight at home, never got closer than five points the rest of the game.
“Georgia Tech is one of the most athletic, best defensive teams we’ve seen,” Semrau said. “They came out throwing the first punches, we responded.”
Brigitte Ardossi scored 23 points to lead Georgia Tech (20-6, 6-4). Sasha Goodlett added16 points and Alex Montgomery, who reached 1,000 points for her career, had 13 rebounds to go with 10 points.
Florida State gave up 13 offensive rebounds to the Yellow Jackets in the first half and couldn’t get the ball inside itself. But the Seminoles had 20 points in the paint during the second half and also hit 4 of 9 shots from behind the 3-point arc.
“We were on our heels a little bit,” Semrau said of the first-half offensive struggles. “Sometimes pressure (defense) will do that. In the second half, we figured out how to attack it and the kids did a great job in the offense.”
Courtney Ward had 10 assists and joined Florida State teammate Chasity Clayton with nine points. The 6-foot-5 Monroe had nine rebounds and three blocks.
Georgia Tech shot just 32.8 percent, with Montgomery going 2 of 14, and was 2 of 13 on 3-pointers. Deja Foster shot 1 of 7 and had only two points.
“Our bigs played well, but I thought our perimeter players needed to step up,” Yellow Jackets coach MaChelle Joseph said. “Alex did a tremendous job on the boards, but her shot just wasn’t falling. We can’t win a game without our key players, especially against a team like Florida State.”
Georgia Tech was ahead 22-12 with less than five minutes left in the first half thanks to a 15-2 spurt, but Florida State cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 26-23 at halftime with an 11-4 run.
Ardossi, who scored nine consecutive Georgia Tech points during one stretch, had 13 points at intermission, while Goodlett had eight before picking up her third foul.
“That was unfortunate because Sash was on a role,” Joseph said. “That third foul was key to the outcome of the game.”
Clayton had seven first-half points for Florida State, which was outrebounded 28-14 before intermission.
Georgia Tech, which had a week off before playing Florida State, hosts No. 8 Duke, the ACC leader, on Friday. The Seminoles’ next game is Thursday at home against Virginia Tech.