Thomas’ 20 points leads No. 6 Florida State to rout over BC

BOSTON (AP) — Following a week off, Florida State needed a few minutes to get its transition game going.

Once it did, Boston College couldn’t keep up with the sixth-ranked Seminoles.

Shakayla Thomas scored 20 points to lead Florida State to an 85-53 rout of the Eagles on Thursday night for its eighth straight win.

“I wasn’t surprised that we looked slow,” Seminoles coach Sue Semrau said. “It didn’t look like we had our second wind so I tried to move people in and out quickly. I think they really responded once they got their legs going.”

Chatrice White added 13 points and Brittany Brown 10 for the Seminoles (21-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Thomas went 10 for 12 from the floor in 22 minutes of action.

Florida State led by 12 after one quarter and never had its lead fall into single digits.

Mariella Fasoula scored 14 points and Kelly Hughes 13 for Boston College (8-15, 1-9). It was the Eagles’ ninth straight loss.

Relying on their up-tempo style behind solid guard play and balanced scoring, the Seminoles took charge with an 18-6 run to close the opening quarter that pushed them to a 25-13 lead at the break. Imani Wright had five points in the run.

“That’s our game,” Thomas said. “Considering we have a whole bunch of depth, we’ve got to get out and run to wear opponents down. I think we came out kind of slow because we haven’t played in a week. I felt like this game helped us get our legs back.”

The Seminoles had 12 steals in the game and forced BC into 18 turnovers.

“When we weren’t smart on some of our shot selection and some of our transition, and our back checks and our defense was a little mixed up, Florida State made us pay,” Eagles coach Erik Johnson said.

The Seminoles started the second quarter by outscoring BC 16-4, getting a handful of steals that led to easy transition baskets. Florida State had nine steals in the opening half, forced BC into 12 turnovers and led 43-21 at intermission.

At times, it looked like the Seminoles were laying off the Eagles’ ball handler and simply looking to intercept passes. Florida State pushed its lead to 31 points after three quarters.

THE MOST

The Seminoles’ senior class of Brown, Ivey Slaughter, Kai James and Leticia Romero posted their 99th win, giving them the most of any class all-time. The old mark of 98 was set in 2010 and matched in 2011.

“I’m proud of them for so many reasons,” Semrau said. “The culture that they’ve built has allowed to win those games.”

MEMORABLE THINGS HAPPENING

Climbing to a lofty ranking is starting to give the Seminoles a feeling that it’s a special season.

“This is a special,” Thomas said. “We’ve put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and you can tell, it’s showing in the season now.”

Semrau said they expected good things.

“We’ve hoped it would be from the beginning,” she said. “But we’re trying to not look to far ahead.”

BIG PICTURE

Florida State: The Seminoles entered with the highest ranking in school history and are in a tight race with Notre Dame and Louisville for first in the conference heading into the final couple weeks of the regular season.

Boston College: Without any play-making point guard, the Eagles had trouble getting the ball inside to their best scorer – 6-foot-4 Fasoula. It’s been an issue they’ll need to address for next season if they want to compete against elite teams.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With No. 4 South Carolina losing at home to unranked Tennessee on Monday, the Seminoles could move up a spot in next week’s poll.

UP NEXT

Florida State: At home against No. 16 Miami on Monday.

Boston College: Faces No. 24 Syracuse at home Sunday, the fifth ranked team it will face in six games.

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