Tallahassee, Fla. -- No. 9 Florida State's 81-38 victory against Clemson on Thursday night was merely a sub-plot to the grand moment on display by FSU redshirt freshman forward Gabby Bevillard.
Bevillard, a native of Bishop, Georgia, suited up for the Seminoles (24-3, 11-2) for the first time in her career on a ‘Paint it Pink’ game that was significant for so many reasons. For Bevillard, she wanted to suit up for one game in memory of her mother, who passed away merely three weeks ago from bladder cancer.
The hardship for the workmanlike performer has already been at a high level, coupled with the fact that Bevillard has endured four Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears in the last four years. Her latest setback, a partially torn ACL in the fall 2014, caused her to retire from the game.
However, Bevillard remains on scholarship and is an official member of the team for this season. This allowed her to make one special appearance on Thursday night, and she created the game’s best -- as well as the season’s best -- moment by burying a 3-pointer from straightaway with 1:50 left to give FSU a 76-36 lead and the game well in hand.
“It was a big adrenaline rush,” Bevillard said after the game. “I didn't want my teammates to get a technical storming the court. It was an awesome feeling. Tonight was dedicated to my mom and my teammates.”
Bevillard, ranked as the 33rd-best player in the 2013 recruiting class by National Basketball Insider, played two minutes and finished with three points. Throughout the season she has stayed on the team and continued to help out in practice and wherever needed. On Thursday, she was able to dress as a player from head to toe for the first, and possibly last time, as a Seminole.
“I really wanted to coach Gabby and was happy for her to finally get a chance to play after four ACL surgeries,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Tonight was a special night for everyone.”
Florida State’s 81-38 win against the Tigers (9-17, 1-12) is its second-largest ACC win ever. The 43-point differential is only behind FSU’s 45-point win against Wake Forest (83-38) on Feb. 7, 2010.
One of Bevillard’s best friends and fellow classmate Ivey Slaughter recorded her sixth double-double of the season and the 15th of her career with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Redshirt junior guard Morgan Jones added 10 points and seven boards. It was the seventh time in FSU’s 13 ACC games where every student-athlete played.
FSU shot 28-of-60 (46.7 percent) while Clemson was held to 15-of-53 (28.3 percent). The Noles out-rebounded the Tigers 49-28, including 21 on the offensive glass. FSU generated 30 points off turnovers, 26 second-chance points and 41 bench points.
Thursday’s game also marked FSU’s 11th 30+ point victory in ACC play. FSU has won its last 12 meetings against Clemson and 23 of its last 24 vs. the Tigers.