CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Dominique Toussaint had the ball, saw the shot clock running down and did what she had to do.
Toussaint scored five of her 14 points in the final 1:27, including the go-ahead 3-pointer as the shot clock was running out, and Virginia held No. 4 Florida State to five points in the fourth quarter in a 60-51 victory Thursday night.
“I don’t think I went crazy,” the freshman said. “I just trusted what I’ve been practicing. The shot clock was running down and we had to get a shot up and that’s what I did.”
Toussaint’s 3-pointer, just the third of the night for the Cavaliers, put them in front 53-51 and, after a turnover by the Seminoles, she hit a runner along the baseline from about 8 feet with 51 seconds left to give Virginia (17-9, 6-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) added cushion.
After several losses to ranked teams the Cavaliers challenged until very late, coach Joanne Bowyle was thrilled to see one go their way.
“We’ve been there. We just haven’t won,” she said, adding that he told her team “It’s your time. I just kept telling them, ‘It’s your time, now go and play.'”
Shakayla Thomas scored 11 points before leaving with an injury in the fourth quarter, Ivey Slaughter had 12 and Brittany Brown 10 for Florida State (23-4, 11-2). The Seminoles lost their second straight — they fell 92-88 in double overtime against Texas on Monday night — and fell out of a first-place tie with Notre Dame.
Coach Sue Semrau said she’s not as concerned about her team’s wounded psyche as she is about her top scorer.
“Two games can shake a team if you lose Shakayla Thomas,” she said, adding she had no information about her injury. “That’s a big blow to us.”
Florida State shot just 35 percent (21-60) and missed 19 of their 23 3-point tries (17.4 percent).
The Seminoles used a 13-5 run to start the third quarter to open an eight-point lead, but the Cavaliers finally pulled even at 48 with 6:08 remaining on a baseline jumper by Breyana Mason. Mason’s foul-line jumper gave Virginia a 50-48 advantage with 4:17 remaining.
Florida State: The Seminoles not only lead the ACC in scoring, averaging 79.5 points in conference games, but they are second in scoring defense, allowing just 59.1 points per game. Those things, and five upperclass starters (two juniors, three seniors) suggest Florida State will be a tough out in the postseason.
Virginia: The Cavaliers are in the midst of a transformation with an increased attention to defense, and to developing their younger players. Coach Joanne Boyle started three freshmen for the second game in a row, and in Virginia’s 26 games this season, a freshman has been their scoring leader 14 times.
ODDS AND ENDS
The Seminoles hit two 3-pointers in the first four minutes, then two more the rest of the way. .. Florida State ranked second in the ACC in rebounding, with an average margin of plus 8.5, but was outrebounded 42-32 by the team that was ninth in the league with an average rebounding margin of minus 0.5. … The Cavaliers’ reserves outscored the Seminoles’ reserves 23-11.
The Seminoles return home for a quick turnaround game against Clemson on Saturday.
Virginia travels to Blacksburg on Sunday to play state rival Virginia Tech, which it beat 76-27 on Jan. 26.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org
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