TALLAHASSEE, Fla (Nov. 20) - Florida State used 33-of-43 free throws to pull away in the second half and post a 94-74 win over Georgia State at the Tucker Center.
In the first half, the teams battled through seven ties and seven lead changes with Georgia State starting the game with a 5-0 lead and Florida State closing with a 10-2 run to take a 39-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The game was never more than four points either way in the first half as the teams traded small spurts. The score was 22-22 at seven minutes, 27-27 at five minutes, and the last time at 29-29 at 4:15. Davis scored five straight from 3:37 to 2:15 to start the FSU run. Cierra Clyaton hit a big three from the corner on a forced shot with the 30-second clock expiring to make it 39-29 with 37 seconds and Chan Harris closed with the final basket of the half for GSU.
In the second half, FSU (3-2) was leading 58-50 with 12:51 left when All-CAA forward Chan Harris picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench. Florida State capitalized with a 11-0 run to up it to 69-50 with 8:30 left. When Harris returned with 7:33, she hit a basket and then picked up her fifth foul in less than a minute and was gone for the game.
Chelsea Davis came off the bench to lead FSU with 25 points, while guard Alexa Deluzio added 20 more from the backcourt in front of the home crowd of 2,092. All-American 6-foot-4 center wasn't a factor, scoring just five points through the first 35 minutes of the game, adding some late points after the margin got to 20 points and the reserves were playing to finish with 11 points on her evening.
Georgia State (0-2) got 18 points and five assists from sophomore guard Kendra Long with 4-of-8 three-point baskets, while Harris had 12 points (5-of-8 field goals)and seven rebounds in her 26 minutes. Junior guard Sade Means added 10 points off the bench. GSU shot 19 fewer free throws and was whistled for 28 fouls. Georgia State's tallest player, 6-foot-3 Cody Paulk got her first two fouls within the first four minutes of the game and sat most of the first half. Kendra Long and Tiffany Anderson each had four fouls.
GSU hit 7-of-13 treys with four by Long, two by freshman Brittany Johnson and one by freshman Kayla Nolan. FSU hit 7-of-16 beyond the arc. Both teams shot 42% for the game with FSU making one more basket (27-of-64) to GSU's 26-of-61.
"This was a very physical game and FSU is a good team, a strong team and a physical team," said Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. "We showed a lot of hustle and played well in the first half, but everyone has to step up a little more and make more plays. It is good experience to play these first two games against 20-win teams (Arizona and FSU) and we realize what we need to do to get better overall."
GSU used its full roster tonight with 10 players playing double-digit minutes and 11 players having points or rebounds, so the experience will help later in the season.
Georgia State returns to action this Friday and Saturday when its hosts its Thanksgiving Classic at the GSU Sports Arena. Games tip at 2 and 4 p.m.