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Junior point guard Leticia Romero leads the way with 17 points as fifth-seeded FSU uses fourth-period breakway to defeat the Blue Raiders 72-55
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP and seminoles.com) – Junior guard Leticia Romero scored 17 points for Florida State to help lead the Seminoles past the No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 72-55 Saturday in the women's NCAA tournament.
Romero finished 5 of 10 from the field, including a 3-pointer, and went 6 of 8 from the line. The Seminoles overcame 21 turnovers, 14 in the first half, to advance to the second round.
The Blue Raiders kept the game close until the Seminoles went on an 11-4 run late in the third quarter. In the final 10 minutes, FSU coach Sue Semrau's squad extended the lead to as many as 20.
MTSU freshman forward Alex Johnson had 22 points, going 10 of 18 from the field. Johnson was one of three Blue Raider starters to score in double figures, with the bench contributing a combined eight points in the loss.
MTSU starting forward Gabby Lyon picked up two fouls in the first minute and played just 15 total minutes.
POST-GAME NOTES COMPILED BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
• Junior point guard Leticia Romero has recorded a positive assist/turnover ratio in eight of her last nine games. She led FSU with 17 points (5-of-10) and added seven rebounds while going 6-of-8 from the free throw line.
• Senior center Adut Bulgak registered 15 points and nine rebounds on 6-of-10 shooting while adding three blocked shots. Bulgak has 11 career games at FSU with nine rebounds, including six this season.
• Junior guard Brittany Brown picked up her fourth career double-double with 10 points (4-of-8) and 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. She has two double-doubles this season and recorded two last year.
• Brown added four steals in Saturday’s win, reaching 91 for the season and trailing former player Brenda Cliette (1986-1987) by three for third-most in a season at FSU.
• Sophomore forward Shakayla Thomas finished with 11 points and five rebounds, her 29th double-figure scoring performance in 30 games played this year.
• Thomas now has 219 made field goals this season, tying Seminole legend Tia Paschal (1992-93) for the fifth-most in a season at FSU. Thomas also has 508 points this year, becoming the ninth Seminole to cross the 500-point mark in a season.
• Florida State changed the course of the game with a 20-4 run that took a 43-42 lead in the third period to a 63-46 advantage in the fourth period.
• The Seminoles shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) in the fourth period. Overall, FSU shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) while Middle Tennessee shot 41.5 percent (22-of-53). FSU outscored MTSU 23-13 in the fourth period.
• Florida State nearly doubled MTSU’s rebounding total, owning a 41-22 advantage on the glass and allowing just six offensive boards. FSU also outscored the Blue Raiders 16-4 in fast-break points.
• Junior center Kai James was an offensive and defensive force with nine points in 11 minutes off the bench.
• The Seminoles improve to 12-0 in NCAA First-Round games under head coach Sue Semrau. FSU has an active first-round game win streak of 13 since 1991, the second-longest among active ACC teams (Duke is at 22 straight).
• Four FSU players scored in double figures, including Romero (17), Bulgak (15), Thomas (11) and Brown (10).