TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Seminoles beat No. 20 Notre Dame, 70-65, in front of a spirited crowd at Tucker Center on Sunday afternoon. The match was a Play4Kay game that helped raise breast cancer awareness and spread the good work of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The win marked the Noles’ first-ever victory against the Fighting Irish (18-5, 9-3). FSU has now earned at least one AP Top 25 win in each of the past eight seasons. The win was the 51st ranked win for head coach Sue Semrau.
FSU kicked off early in the first quarter when junior guard Sammie Puisis hit his 114th career 3-pointer to enter the top 10 in program history.
Valencia Myers got into their offensive rhythm in the second quarter with back-to-back baskets. Both teams fought hard in the second quarter, with the lead changing five times. Sara Bejedi was perfect from long range throughout the afternoon, hitting two of her three 3-pointers in the second quarter. Myers and Bejedi led the line offensively in the first half for the Noles, with each player contributing six points.
The Noles came out of the shot at halftime. True freshman O’Mariah Gordon set the tone with two hard shots to the basket. The Noles never looked back as they went on a 9-0 run where Myers continued to assert dominance inside on their way to a team-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting The Noles were locked in at both ends of the field, holding Notre Dame to a 21% field goal percentage in the third quarter and beating their boarded opponents 10-6 in that frame.
“We needed to continue the defensive momentum of the NC State game,” Myers said after the game.
The offense was on a roll with four players finishing the game with double-digit points. The team shot an impressive 51% from the floor, including 46% from outside the arc.
The Fighting Irish tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter after trailing up to 18 points and got under 3 points before Bejedi and Jones sank two late clutch jumpers. Gordon crossed the line and made his two free throws with 12 seconds remaining to effectively seal the deal.
“We talked a lot about how it’s okay to make mistakes, just fight. They did that today, they fought. When they were told who Kay (Yow) was, it really touched them. It pushed them forward today,” said Semrau.
The Play4Kay game is one of two pink games the Noles will host this season. Coach Sue was a longtime friend of beloved NC State head coach Kay Yow, having coached against her 21 times between 1997 and 2009. Cancer awareness is near and dear in basketball FSU Women’s Championship, with Coach Sue taking time off last season. to help her mother fight cancer. The afternoon culminated with Coach Sue addressing the delighted and emotional crowd.
The Noles will begin their three-game road trip to Duke on Thursday, February 10. The game will take place at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.