- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State was happy to play at home after two weeks on the road.

The eighth-ranked Seminoles scored the first 10 points and cruised to a 90-41 victory over Western Carolina on Sunday.

“It’s always important to get out to a fast start. It allows the depth of our team to be exceptional,” Florida State coach Sue Semrau said after her team won its seventh straight. “When you jump out it gives you more confidence.”

The Seminoles (8-1) led 52-12 at halftime and would lead by as many as 52 points midway through the third quarter.

In the Seminoles first nine games they are averaging 44.3 points in the first half and shooting 50.5 percent from the field while holding opponents to an average of 26.6 points.

FSU had another balanced attack with four players in double figures. Shakayla Thomas led the way with 18 points and also grabbed six rebounds.

It is the fifth time this season the junior forward, who was last season’s Atlantic Coast Conference sixth player of the year, has led the team in scoring.

“I’m more consistent. Defensively I am more aware of different things. I feel like I can guard any position and that’s a big step from where I was,” Thomas said.

Leticia Romero scored 16 points while Ivey Slaughter added 14 and Chatrice White 10.

Lauren LaPlant and Hatfield each had 12 points for the Catamounts (3-7), who shot 26 percent from the field.

“We came out and weren’t as fired up as we liked to be but we were outmatched to begin with. In the second half they fought back and did the things we wanted them to,” Western Carolina coach Stephanie McCormick said.

BIG PICTURE

Western Carolina: This was the Catamounts second game in Tallahassee in three days. They got the win over Florida A&M; in overtime on Friday night but were no match for the Seminoles. Junior forward Sherae Bonner, who leads the nation in total rebounds with 107, was held to a season-low of two.

Florida State: The only thing the Seminoles struggled at was from the free throw line, where they were 17 of 26 (65.4 percent). FSU came into the game ranked fifth in the ACC in free-throw percentage and are shooting 70.4 percent from the line. This is one area it has to improve before the start of conference play later this month.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

FSU has won by an average of 31.7 points during its winning streak. It has held a lead of 21 points or more in six of the last seven games.

LETDOWN

Florida State’s Imani Wright, who came into the game second on the team in scoring at 13.3 points per game, did not score in 17 minutes played. The junior guard missed all four shots from the field.

UP NEXT

Western Carolina: The Catamounts finish a three-game road trip with a Thursday morning game at Radford.

Florida State: The Seminoles host No. 19 Florida on Thursday. This will mark the first time in 77 meetings that both teams have been ranked when facing each other.

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More AP college basketball at https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Follow Joe Reedy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joereedy


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