St. John’s 65, Florida St. 66
By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Jacinta Monroe wasn’t ready for her Florida State career to end.
Monroe scored Florida State’s final four points of regulation to spark a last-ditch rally, then scored the gamewinner with 28.9 seconds left as the Seminoles beat St. John’s 66-65 in the second round of the NCAA women’s tournament on Monday night—a game featuring 19 ties and 19 lead changes.
Monroe scored a game-high 16 points for Florida State (28-5), which got 15 from Alysha Harvin and 10 each from Chasity Clayton and Alexa Deluzio.
Nadirah McKenith scored 15 for St. John’s (25-7), which was trying to reach the NCAA round of 16 for the first time. Stevens had 14 points and 10 rebounds despite spending much of the second half and overtime battling leg cramps, and Joy McCorvey added 13 for the Red Storm.
St. John’s had a chance at the buzzer to win it. Stevens had a good look from the left wing, but her bank shot bounced off the rim as the horn sounded, and the Seminoles stormed their home floor in celebration.
Florida State coach Sue Semrau grabbed the house microphone moments later, telling the home crowd that they couldn’t have gotten “there” without them.
“There” for Florida State is defined as Dayton: The Seminoles next play in Sunday’s Dayton Regional semifinals, where they’ll meet the winner of Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh between Ohio State (31-4) and Mississippi State (20-12).
To say it was close throughout would be a bit of an understatement.
Neither team ever went on a big run, nor was there ever a moment where it seemed like one team was on the cusp of taking control.
And that won’t make losing any easier to accept for St. John’s either.
There were 10 ties and 12 lead changes in the first half, St. John’s never leading by more than three, Florida State never by more than four.
Harvin scored 13 of her points before the break for the Seminoles, taking charge after Monroe drew her second foul with 5:45 left until halftime. Harvin scored eight of Florida State’s final 10 points of the half, including a baseline jumper that rattled in with no time remaining.
It was tied five more times in a three-minute stretch early in the second half, after the Red Storm seemed to survive a scare.
Just after Shenneika Smith made a jumper with 17:19 left to get St. John’s within 37-36, she tried to make a steal on the other end, slipping awkwardly and falling to the court clutching her left knee.
Smith was carried off and tended to by a trainer, then returned about 2 minutes later and quickly got back into the scoring column, rebounding her own miss and laying it in with 14:38 left to knot the game at 43.
Florida State scored six straight points over a 3 1/2 -minute stretch, the last four of those points coming from Cierra Bravard, to take a 55-53 lead with 6:18 remaining.
Then it was the Seminoles’ turn to go scoreless, at the absolute wrong time.
Florida State didn’t score for the next 4:39, falling behind 60-55 before Deluzio’s 3-pointer from the right corner cut the margin to two with 1:39 to play. Monroe did the rest, tying the game at 60 a half-minute later, and after St. John’s hit two free throws, Monroe delivered again with 16.7 seconds left in regulation and sending the teams to OT tied at 62.
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