Seminoles Roll Past Missouri to Open NCAA Tournament, 67-54

Tuesday, 20 Mar, 2018

She scored Florida State's first six points and had 16 in the first half as the host team was ahead 53-30 at halftime.

Stanford 82, Gonzaga 68: Alanna Smith scored 20 points, freshman Kiana Williams made a sensational women's NCAA Tournament debut, and Stanford beat cold-shooting Gonzaga. Florida State earned a second-round matchup with top-seeded Xavier on Sunday.

PJ Savoy had 12 points and Phil Cofer scored 11 to pace FSU. Sophomore guard Trent Forrest filled up the stat sheet, tallying 10 points, eight assists, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. We saw Florida State use seven guys against Missouri. "Give them a lot of credit for pressing us, getting out in the passing lanes, forcing us to make extra plays".

Missouri scored 6 consecutive points with 6:21 left in the 3rd Quarter, making the game 45-38 in favor of Florida Gulf Coast.

Going into this year of college basketball, Michael Porter Jr. had it all; top high school prospect, expectations to be one of the college game's best players, and was already garnering the attention of NBA fans as a top- 5 draft pick.

A matchup against west region No. 1 seed Xavier, which bitterly ended FSU's season past year with a 25-point drumming in Orlando in the second round of the tournament.

Missouri threw its best punch to start the second half, outscoring Florida State 24-8 in the first 10:07.

The roller-coaster season ended just before midnight, in a half-full Bridgestone Arena, against a long and fast Florida State team that grabbed an early lead and never let it go. Savoy capped the spurt with a 3-pointer at the 14:13 mark for a 12-7 advantage.

The only part of Thomas' game where she struggled was at the free throw line, where she went 4 of 11, including 2 of 8 in the second half.

This was just the third game this season for Porter, who suffered a back injury in Missouri's season opener. He didn't play until the first round of the SEC Tournament which the Tigers lost. By the time Missouri scored again, Jontay Porter's jumper with 5:08 left only pulled the Tigers within 65-46.

"We were just playing hard", Porter said. "We just kept our poise, amped our energy up on the defensive end and it created our offense".

"She's really active, and to be 6-1 and be able to shoot the three so well with that kind of length is a challenge", Florida Gulf Coast head coach Karl Smesko said, having watched multiple Missouri games to prepare for Saturday. She recorded team-high 19 points, including two three-pointers. Until Missouri's second-leading scorer went down.

Mizzou went without its two starting post players, Cierra Porter and Jordan Frericks, for nearly the entire second quarter because of foul trouble. They came into the game sixth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 52.6 points per game. Martin said after the game that he fully supports whatever decision they make and would advise Porter go to the National Basketball Association if he is indeed a top pick, where he's been projected all year long despite playing in just three games. "I probably won't make that decision for a little while".