Leonor Rodriguez shot a dagger into the heart of N.C. State Friday night.
The Florida State wing knocked down her team’s only successful 3-pointer of the game with 1.1 seconds left, giving the Seminoles a 67-64 victory at Reynolds Coliseum and sole possession of fifth place in the ACC.
Natasha Howard had a double-double for FSU (12-10, 4-4 ACC) by pouring in 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, while Rodriguez added 11 points. Center Cierra Bravard, who was in foul trouble all night but was on the floor at game’s end, and Chasity Clayton finished with 10 points each for the winners.
“I can’t begin to tell you what kind of heart that took from those kids who’ve had to fight through so many tough, close games,” said FSU coach Sue Semrau, whose team has beaten the Wolfpack five straight times. “I think N.C. State showed a lot of heart tonight as well. This is huge, and it’s huge for the character of our team. We’ve been so close, and our culture of winning has been challenged. These kids are young. I’ve got one senior (Bravard), and for them to step up and continue to fight the way they did was a really big win for us.”
Myisha Goodwin-Coleman led the Wolfpack (13-8, 5-5) with 17 points, six assists and four steals, went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and pulled down five rebounds. Bonae Holston chipped in 14 points and Marissa Kastanek 10.
“Our team and staff are broken-hearted that we lost the game with a shot like that,” Wolfpack coach Kellie Harper said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow. There are numerous things we could have done throughout the game to put us in a better position down the stretch. We’re just disappointed we couldn’t have put that thing into overtime and given ourselves a chance. We’re just not doing a good job getting easy shots right now and that’s showing in our shooting percentage. And they shoot 57 percent for the game. That’s insane.”
Goodwin-Coleman was instrumental in the comeback. With the Pack still trailing by six she hit a pair of free throws with 1:38 left, added a layup at :32, and then had the assist on Holston’s tying layup with 8.9 to go.
“I hear ‘Shooter!’ now, so (opponents) think I’m a shooter,” Goodwin-Coleman said. “They’re not letting me get as open as I used to be. Knocking down the open shot and getting extra time in the gym has helped.”
FSU shot 56.9 percent to the Wolfpack’s 29.2 and outrebounded the hosts 46-28. NCSU excelled in the floor game with 13 turnovers to the visitors’ 32, and hit 20 of 26 free throws to FSU’s 8-of-11.
The Wolfpack’s next game is at Virginia Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m.