TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Seniors Shakayla Thomas and Chatrice White came up big for Florida State in their final regular-season home game.
Thomas scored 19 points, including six in the fourth quarter, and White got her sixth double-double of the season as the ninth-ranked Seminoles rallied to defeat Georgia Tech 64-61 on Sunday.
Florida State (24-5, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned the third seed and a double bye in this week’s conference tournament.
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”Those two were especially excellent today,” coach Sue Semrau said of Thomas and White. ”Shakayla, you all think she took she took over on the offensive end, but she took over defensively with guarding and rebounding. It was big time. Chatrice was just money from the free throw line in a tough game.”
White had 16 points and 13 rebounds. She was also 10 for 10 from the foul line, marking the first time in school history a player has been 100 percent on 10 for more free throws.
In a game that saw 12 ties and 18 lead changes, White’s final two free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining gave the Seminoles a three-point lead.
”I was pretty nervous. I’ve been in that situation before and I knew I was going to do it this time,” White said. ”It was a special moment.”
Georgia Tech (17-12, 6-10) had a chance to send it into overtime, but Francesca Pan’s 3-point attempt hit the back of the rim.
The Seminoles shot 33.3 percent from the field the first three quarters but were 6 of 11 in the final 10 minutes. The Yellow Jackets led 52-51 with 6:35 remaining on a layup by Elo Edeferioka before FSU went on an 8-2 run, which included two straight baskets by Thomas.
Georgia Tech, which was 20 of 70 from the field, got within 61-59 with 1:44 left on a 3-pointer by Imani Tilford and had two chances to tie or take the lead on ensuing possessions, but could not convert.
Edeferioka led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Pan scored 14.
Florida State came into the game averaging 89.2 points at home, but was held to a season low at Tucker Center. The previous low came in a 100-69 loss to Notre Dame on Jan. 29.
”Obviously we’re disappointed in the final result,” Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. ”I thought our defensive effort was the difference. I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win.”
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are 0-6 against ranked teams this season, but this is the second time they have taken a Top 10 team to the wire. They lost 74-71 to then-No. 3 Louisville on Dec. 28.
Florida State: The Seminoles have won six of seven but struggled this week. It started with a 79-66 loss at No. 20 Duke, and they had their problems in the first half against Boston College on Thursday before pulling away for a 67-39 victory.
The teams combined for 44 fouls and had four players with four fouls, although no one fouled out.
”Honestly I like physical games because it wants to make me more physical. It is something we have to play around but make sure we don’t do something extra stupid,” White said.
Georgia Tech will be the No. 10 seed in the ACC tournament and faces Clemson on Wednesday.
Florida State’s first game in the ACC tournament will be a quarterfinal on Friday.
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