FSU rallies to defeat Tulane 72-70
Updated: Friday March 16, 2001 10:48 PM
AMES, Iowa (AP) -- So what did Florida State's April Traylor think about finally topping her career high?
"It's about time," she said.
Traylor scored a career-high 30 points and Florida State survived a late rush by Tulane to beat the Green Wave 72-70 Friday night in the Midwest Regional.
"I've been waiting for this for a long time," Traylor said. "Gosh. It's been since my freshman year at Florida, so I've been waiting for a while. I'm sure my teammates have been waiting, too."
Traylor's previous best had been 29 points against Florida in 1999. In bettering that, she helped seventh-seeded Florida State (19-11) survive an off night by leading scorer Brooke Wyckoff, who scored only five points on 2-for-10 shooting.
Wyckoff was averaging 15.2.
"April had her best game of the year, not only on the offensive end but at the defensive end, too," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said.
Florida State, in the tournament for the first time since 1991, rallied from an 11-point deficit in the first half and then held on after leading 70-62 with a little more than two minutes left.
Tulane (22-10) drew to 72-70 when Gwen Slaughter scored with 47 seconds left, and the Green Wave got the ball back after Wyckoff missed a 3-point attempt as the shot clock was running down.
Following a timeout with 12.5 seconds remaining, Tulane got the ball where it wanted - into center Janell Burse's hands in the lane. But Burse missed an 8-foot turnaround shot in traffic with two seconds remaining and Florida State ran the ball down as time ran out.
"I couldn't find any openings to shoot it," Burse said. "So I took a dribble and tried to go up with it."
Traylor made 11 of 17 shots and was 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. She twice hit a 3 after Florida State pulled to within three points down the stretch and teammate Katelyn Vujas hit a big shot later, sinking a baseline jumper with two seconds left on the shot clock to make it 72-68.
Vujas finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
"I thought we showed a lot of poise to come back from that deficit we had in the first half," Semrau said. "I feel like the competition we've had up to this point has prepared us for weathering the storms, and we had to weather one tonight."
Burse had 22 points and six rebounds to lead 10th-seeded Tulane, which made the tournament for the seventh straight year and lost in the first round for the fifth time. Florida State was able to get back in it after Burse went to the bench with two fouls with 11:52 left in the first half. She stayed there the rest of the half.
"I think that was a huge factor," Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. "I think it worked our other post too hard."
Sarah Goree scored 17 points for Tulane, and Slaughter had 11.