Sunday 24th June, 2018
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Third-seeded FSU knocks off Missouri

Sports Xchange - Monday 20th March, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- No. 3 seed Florida State ended No. 6 Missouri's dream of another miracle finish Sunday when the Seminoles toppled the Tigers 77-55 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to their third straight Sweet 16.

Missouri was coming off a buzzer-beating win against No. 11 seed South Florida on Friday in the Stockton, Calif., Regional. There would be no heroics this time as the Seminoles turned a tight game into a blowout in the second half behind a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds from forward and ACC Player of the Year Shakayla Thomas.

Florida State will now play Friday in the Sweet 16 against the winner of No. 7 seed Creighton and No. 2 Oregon State. Those two teams played later Sunday in the other portion of the Stockton regional.

After taking a narrow 32-27 lead to halftime, Florida State (27-6) outscored Mizzou 24-10 in the third period to all but close the door, highlighted by eight points, three rebounds, a block and a steal from Thomas.

The game began to get out of control early in the fourth quarter when Missouri coach Robin Pingeton was called for a technical foul 30 seconds into the final frame. After two made free throws by Florida State, the Seminoles' lead was stretched to 60-37.

The Seminoles, who shot 50 percent from 3-point range in the win -- going 7 of 14 -- also got solid games from guard Imani Wright with 14 points, including three makes from beyond the arc. Florida State guard Leticia Romero also notched 14 points, while guard Brittany Brown was Florida State's second-leading scorer with 16 points.

Florida State forward Ivey Slaugher also had seven points, eight rebounds, three steals and a block in the win.

The Tigers were paced by guard Sophie Cunningham with 17 points, two assists and two steals. Missouri also got double-digit games from forward Cierra Porter with 12 points and guard Sierra Michaelis with 10 points. Porter and Michaelis each tied for a team-high six rebounds in the loss.

Missouri shot 37.5 percent from the field, but went just 5 of 20 from 3-point range. Florida State shot 46 percent from field goal range.

Missouri (22-11) sees its season end with a third-place SEC finish -- its highest finish in the conference since 1990 -- and trip to the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32 for the second straight year. The Tigers' No. 6-seed was their highest in a school history for the 64-team NCAA Tournament, and the only time Mizzou had a higher seed was in the 1984 32-team tourney, which saw the Tigers enter as a No. 4 seed.

Sunday's loss marked Missouri's seventh straight loss against Florida State in their series.

There was, however, a bright spot for the Tigers, despite the loss: Missouri's defense, which hadn't allowed an opponent to score over 80 points all season, kept that streak in-tact by holding the high-powered Seminoles to 77 points.

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