Nov. 18, 2006
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – From the bright lights of the Big Apple to the hills of the great Midwest, with one day in Tallahassee in between, the Florida State women’s basketball team rebounded from a sluggish first half to improve to 3-0 on the season with a 64-50 victory over Southeast Missouri State (1-2) Friday night at the Show Me Center. It was the Tanae Davis-Cain show as the sophomore, who earned her first start of the year, led the Seminoles with a career-high 21 points, including a personal-best five three-pointers, and four steals.
“That’s one thing I really like about this road trip is that it’s putting us in a position where we have to fight fatigue,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “That’s part of growing in toughness that this young team has to do. We’ve got to play through fatigue and fight it and that’s what we learned and we’ve got to carry it into Sunday (Oakland game) because it’s not going to get any easier.”
A 13-4 run at the start of the second half helped the Seminoles gain control of the game after just a one-point advantage at halftime. With 15:08 left in the game, Florida State had its first double-digit lead at 41-31. It was the guard play that got the Seminoles going. With their speed and aggressiveness, Alicia Gladden, Shante Williams and Davis-Cain combined for 13 of FSU’s first 15 points of the second half.
Center Britany Miller scored 10 of her 18 points in the final eight minutes of the game and added six rebounds and four blocks.
“We’re a really young team and we’re bound to have our ups and downs,” Semrau said. “I thought Southeast did a great job of boxing us out, keeping us off the offensive boards which is where we’ve been really good in the last couple of games. We were very pleased with the way a couple of sophomores stepped up with Tanae and Britany.”
The Seminoles just never got in rhythm in the first half and led just 28-27 at the break. Paced by Davis-Cain’s 11 first-half points, including three buckets from long range, Florida State led by eight three different times in the first 20 minutes. The Redhawks, however, controlled the boards, outrebounding FSU 22-16 in the first half and went on a 7-0 run in the final 1:25 to pull within a point at halftime. Britany Miller added eight points, Alicia Gladden five rebounds and Mara Freshour three assists but the Seminoles shot just 39 percent and committed nine turnovers in the first half.
“Tanae’s confidence has really skyrocketed,” Semrau said. “The way that she’s shooting the ball is evidence in the stats but what she’s doing on the defensive end of the floor is what’s really making us good. She defends well in our zone and you just can’t say enough when a kid is playing both ends of the floor like she is.”
Gladden led the team in rebounding with seven boards and added nine points off of the bench while Freshour led the way with five assists. The Seminoles shot a much-improved 52 percent from the field in the second half but were outrebounded 42-32.
The Seminoles will play their fourth game in seven days when they host Oakland (1-1) Sunday, November 19th at 1 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.