GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – After dropping two regular-season games to rival Florida State, Miami regained bragging rights in convincing fashion Friday in the ACC Women’s Tournament quarterfinals.
The fifth-seeded Hurricanes tore away from the fourth-seeded Seminoles in the second half to post a 74-56 win in the opening game of the day at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Miami (24-7) moved on to Saturday’s noon semifinal and will face the winner of Friday’s later quarterfinal game between top-seed Notre Dame and eighth-seeded Duke.
Despite the loss, the nationally-14th ranked Seminoles (23-7) are assured of an NCAA at-large berth and will await the official announcement on March 14.
Jessica Thomas went 5-of-6 from 3-point range and scored a season-high 21 points to lead Miami, which outscored FSU 37-19 in the second half. The Hurricanes were 8-of-15 as a team from 3-point range and shot 47.5 percent as team.
By contrast, FSU shot 33.3 percent from the floor – 23 percent in the second half – and committed 25 turnovers.
Emese Hof added 15 points for Miami, while Adrienne Motley and Keyona Hayes each scored 13. Leticia Romero and Shakayla Thomas each scored 14 points to lead the Seminoles, and Ivey Slaughter led all rebounders at 12.
The teams were even at 37-all following a roller-coaster first half in which Florida State wiped out an early five-point Miami lead and the Hurricanes overcame deficits of five and nine points. The first two quarters saw five ties and seven lead changes.
FSU’s Emiah Bingley connected on 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc to lead all scorers with 11 first-half points. Hayes led Miami with nine.
The outset of the second half set the tone as the Seminoles missed their first 13 shots to help fuel an 11-2 flurry that put Miami up 48-39. The Hurricanes took a seven-point lead (52-45) into the fourth quarter and padded their margin down the stretch.
Miami’s semifinal appearance on Saturday will be its second in 12 seasons as an ACC member.