Florida State coach Sue Semrau calls a play during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Virginia on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Ryan M. Kelly)
Ryan M. Kelly
February 17, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State's women's basketball team entered the week with hopes of getting a top seed for the NCAA Tournament. After two straight losses for the first time this season and an injury to the fourth-ranked Seminoles leading scorer, coach Sue Semrau has bigger concerns.

Shakayla Thomas will miss Saturday's game against Clemson after she injured her left shoulder during Thursday's 60-51 loss to Virginia. The junior forward had an MRI on Friday afternoon to determine how long she would be out. The results have not been released.

Thomas is averaging 15 points per game, which is 11th in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and had been averaging 19.2 points in her last seven games. After Thomas' injury late in the third quarter, the Seminoles were outscored 19-5.

With the Seminoles (23-4, 11-2 ACC) nearing the end of a stretch of three games in six days, Semrau is looking at making sure Thomas is ready for the stretch run instead of just Saturday.

''She means so much to us but we want to make sure she is good for the long haul,'' Semrau said.

Chatrice White or Ama Degbeon would move into the starting lineup in Thomas' absence. White has four double-doubles games in her past seven and Degbeon is averaging 8.4 points in her past eight.

Semrau's other concerns are her team's recent shooting woes. The Seminoles were a combined 50 of 146 from the field in their double overtime loss to No. 7 Texas on Feb. 13 and Virginia.

Senior guard Leticia Romero is still shooting over 50 percent from the field and 3-point range, but has scored in double figures just once in the past six games and is 12 of 38 from the field.

''I've got a lot of things to work on but not a lot of time. I feel like last couple of games I have been a little off on the offensive end which has been frustrating,'' Romero said.

Florida State fell out of a tie with Notre Dame for the Atlantic Coast Conference lead with the Virginia loss. But the Seminoles still have to face the Irish in the regular-season finale on Feb. 26.

FSU is trying to avoid losing three of its final five games going into the conference tournament, which begins on March 1 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Semrau is confident that her team will be able to bounce back. Between the Clemson and Notre Dame games, the Seminoles host Pittsburgh on Feb. 23.

''We have to put the past two games behind us and recognize what we have been able to do,'' Semrau said. ''You have to be able to bounce back and know Everyone hits some type of wall during the season but it is better now what that it is coming now instead of tournament time.''

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