Romero helps No. 7 Florida State rout Mercer 83-40

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MACON, Ga. (AP) — In preparation for Wednesday night's game, Mercer women's head coach Susie Gardner called Florida State a Final Four team.

The seventh-ranked Seminoles certainly lived up to that billing against the Bears.

Florida State (12-1) led by 21 points after the first quarter and cruised to an 83-40 win. The Seminoles, who shot 30-of-58 from the floor for the game, dominated early and led 28-7 after the first quarter and 53-17 at the half.

They made 19-of-31 shots (61.3 percent) in the opening two quarters.

"I told them, I said, 'We haven't played a lot, so we cannot rely on just hitting shots. We've got to go rebound the ball,' " Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. "Then they wanted to prove me wrong, I guess, and just hit shots."

Florida State made 10 3-pointers and dominated on the boards with a 56-28 rebounding advantage. Leticia Romero led the Seminoles with 17 points, hitting 6-of-8 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, while Macon product Ivey Slaughter had a double-double in her hometown with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Chatrice White added nine points, while point guard Brittany Brown had eight points and five assists.

"Typical Ivey, do all the dirty work, a double-double," Semrau said of Slaughter, who is a senior. "She's just such a special player, great character, great leader."

Mercer (9-3) struggled throughout, hitting just 16-of-64 from the floor and was led by junior Kahlia Lawrence with 16 points. Sophomore KeKe Calloway added nine, but Lawrence and Calloway combined to shoot 9-of-40.

The Bears made only two of their 18 3-point shots.

"They shot the ball exceptionally well; I think they shot 60-plus percent in the first half," Gardner said. "They really, really killed us on the glass. We knew that rebounding was a big key. We did not hit open shots at all. We just simply did not hit shots that we normally hit."


Both teams took 31 shots in the first half with Mercer making just eight.


Florida State: The Seminoles won their 11th straight game with their only loss coming by two points to UConn on Nov. 14. All 12 of Florida State's wins have come by double digits. Eight of those wins have been decided by 20 or more points, including the past five.

Mercer: Even with the loss, the Bears are off to their best start since their 1980-81 season. Mercer suffered its first home loss of the season after winning its first five home games. ... Mercer hosted a top-10 team for the second time in program history. The first came against No. 3 Notre Dame during the 2011-12 season. ... Mercer, which ranks second nationally with 11 turnovers per game, had 13.


Florida State: The Seminoles, who have one more non-conference game on their schedule, Feb. 13 against Texas, open ACC play Dec. 29 at Miami.

Mercer: The Bears are off until taking a trip to Davidson on Dec. 29 and then face Paine on Dec. 31 before jumping into Southern Conference play.

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