Bulgak scores career-high 26 as No. 6 Florida St. beats UAB
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) For Florida State coach Sue Semrau, this was more like it.
Adut Bulgak tied a career high with 26 points, and the sixth-ranked Seminoles used their defense and shooting to cruise past UAB for an 84-44 victory on Sunday.
Florida State shot 56.5 percent from the field, compared to 29.4 percent (15 for 51) for UAB. During one impressive defensive stretch, the Blazers went scoreless for eight minutes over the second and third quarters.
''We hadn't been pleased with our defensive effort and that was one of the things that we stressed. I saw great growth today,'' Semrau said. ''That was the biggest step in our growth process which allowed us to get our offense going.''
Florida State (2-1) led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring defense last season, but had allowed an average of 77 points in its first two games. It also was second in field goal percentage on offense, but shot just 36.3 percent in a loss at Florida and win over Tulane.
Semrau posted those two numbers on the board before Sunday's game, serving as a reality check for her squad.
''We took that personally and I'm glad that the team stepped up,'' Bulgak said. ''This was a chemistry builder for us and we learned a lot from it.''
Bulgak also had 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and 15th of her career. The senior, who was an honorable mention for the preseason AP All-America team, also scored 26 in a win over North Florida last season.
Shakayla Thomas added 17 points for Florida State (2-1), and Ivey Slaughter scored 11.
The 40-point win was Florida State's largest since it beat Clemson by 43 last season.
Deanna Kuzmanic was UAB's lone scorer in double figures with 15 points. A Kuzmanic 3-pointer got the Blazers (1-3) within one at 22-21 before the Seminoles scored the last 15 points of the first half.
The Seminoles led throughout and built a 14-2 advantage less than four minutes into the game. They led by as many as 42 late in the fourth quarter.
Florida State had only eight players available due to injuries for the second straight game. Leticia Romero (left ankle) and Emiah Bingley (concussion-related symptoms) were sidelined.
Brittany Brown played the point for the second straight game and had nine points, six rebounds and nine assists in 37 minutes. In her 77 minutes over the past two games, the sophomore has only three turnovers.
With two of its guards out, Florida State often went with three forwards, a center and guard. The advantage in the frontcourt helped Florida State to a 44-6 advantage in points in the paint.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
''We put the reins on some people to get our offense flowing. I don't think early on (the first two games) we knew the difference between a good shot and bad shot. I thought we did a much better job looking for a great shot today,'' Semrau on Florida State's offense.
UAB: Kuzmanic has scored in double figures in three of her first four collegiate games.
Florida State: Thomas is shooting 56.4 percent from the field after the first three games. She was 8 of 12 against UAB.
UAB faces High Point on Thursday in the Cancun Challenge.
Florida State hosts North Florida on Tuesday.