Slaughter helps No. 9 Florida State beat No. 25 Syracuse
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State's guards had been the engine that powered the team's winning streak.
But on Monday, with starting guards Leticia Romero, Brittany Brown and Maegan Conwright struggling, the No. 9 Seminoles turned instead to their post players to hold off No. 25 Syracuse.
Ivey Slaughter scored a career-high 22 points and center Adut Bulgak added 10 points and 16 rebounds as No. 9 Florida State defeated No. 25 Syracuse 62-52 on Monday.
"We thought the inside game would be where we needed to go to attack and to score," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "We were able to grind this one out."
Bulgak had her 11th double-double of the season to lift the Seminoles (21-2, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) to their eighth straight win. The three starting guards combined to go 6-for-19 from the field.
Brianna Butler scored 15 points, and Diamond Henderson and Taylor Ford added 10 points apiece for Syracuse (15-7, 5-4).
Florida State was in control early as Slaughter hit a jump shot that put the Seminoles ahead 22-11 with 8:51 to halftime.
Syracuse could only cut the lead to three on a Ford 3-pointer with 11:37 left. But Slaughter and Shakayla Thomas had four points each as Florida State pulled back in front, 46-38, with 8:17 to go.
Maegan Conwright added 10 points for Florida State, which shot 24 of 63 (38.1 percent) from the floor.
Briana Day added nine points and 14 rebounds for Syracuse, which shot just 20 of 67 (29.9 percent) from the floor. The Orange dug themselves a deficit early, making just 7 of 36 (19.4 percent) of their shots in the first half.
"We missed a ton of layups in the first half," Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. "We missed some 12-foot jump shots that we could have made."
And often those misses became Florida State rebounds. The Seminoles won the battle on the boards 51-37.
"We get a lot of second- and third-chance points," Slaughter said. "I think that's how we end up winning."
The Seminoles struggled from beyond the 3-point arc, making just 2 of 12 shots. Florida State won despite committing 21 turnovers.
"I don't think any time you turn the ball over as much as we did that you played well," Semrau said. "We played hard and we found a way to win."
The Seminoles' eight-game win streak is their longest in ACC play since winning eight consecutive in Feb. 2010. That was the last year Florida State won an ACC regular season title.
FLAWS TO DIAMOND
Syracuse's Diamond Henderson has scored 20 or more points three times this season and averages 12 points per game. But against Florida State, Henderson shot just 3 of 10 from the floor for 10 points.
Florida State: Bulgak's career-high is 18 rebounds vs. Duke on Jan. 11.
Syracuse: The Orange were just 1 of 12 from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half. Syracuse came in to the game averaging 29 percent from beyond the arc.
Florida State: plays host to Miami on Sunday.
Syracuse: plays host to North Carolina on Thursday.