The Virgin Islands proved to be paradise for Florida State during Thanksgiving week, as the Seminoles swept to the Paradise Jam tournament title with wins over Winthrop, Gonzaga and Michigan, earning NCAA.com Team of the Week honors.
Florida State, which improved to 6-1 on the season, opened the tournament with a 98-35 victory over Winthrop as 12 Seminoles entered the scoring column, led by Leticia Romero’s 17 points, while Jasmine Walker added 14 points, Ivey Slaughter 13 and Nicole Ekhomu 11. Florida State shot 61.5 percent from the field (40 of 65), while its defense held the Eagles to 34.1 percent (14 of 41) and forced them into a season-worst 34 turnovers.
Next facing a Gonzaga team, which was ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press top-25 poll after a win the previous week over Stanford, Florida State used a big first-quarter run to pull away from the Bulldogs for the 87-69 victory. Romero led the way again with a career-high 25 points, while Imani Wright added 15 points, Shakayla Thomas 14 and Brittany Brown 11 for the Seminoles, who led 27-14 after the first quarter and rolled from there.
Florida State clinched its second Paradise Jam title and its fifth championship at a tournament located in the Caribbean when the Seminoles defeated Michigan 76-62 on Nov. 27. Thomas picked the right time to come up with her first double-double of the season, with 19 points and 11 rebounds as Florida State pulled away in the fourth quarter. Wright added 19 points, Slaughter had 15 and Romero 10 for the Seminoles who won their fifth straight game. It was Michigan’s first loss of the season after six wins. During the game with Michigan, senior forward Slaughter and junior forward Thomas became the 32nd and 33rd Seminoles to surpass 1,000 points. Slaughter now has 1,009 career points while Thomas has 1,002.
Florida State, which pushed four-time defending national champion UConn to the brink before losing 78-76 on Nov. 14 at home without an injured Romero in the lineup, will look to continue their role when they next play at Minnesota as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 30.
Honorable mention Teams of the Week included Boise State, Clemson, Colorado, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Providence, San Diego, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Washington and West Virginia.