Nov. 27, 2006
Florida State may have scored its fewest points in a game thus far in the 2006-07 campaign in its 60-43 win over Tulsa (3-3), but that didn’t stop sophomore Tanae Davis-Cain from taking control of the game Monday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Dawson, Ga., native bettered her previous career-high of 21 points in the Southeast Missouri game with a game-high 22 points to lead the Seminoles to a 6-0 start for just the third time in program history.
Davis-Cain shot 10-of-16 from the floor, including the three-pointers FSU recorded in the game, going 2-of-5 from behind the arc. Senior Alicia Gladden, added nine points, nine rebounds and seven steals to help Florida State conclude its three-game home stand with a perfect 3-0 record.
“I was really pleased with our defensive effort in both halves,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought that was the best full game of defense that we’ve been able to put on the floor. It just shows that you can play ugly on the offensive end and get the job done when you play defense. It all started with Tanae. I don’t know that we win this basketball game without Tanae and the way that she makes things happen on the defensive end of the floor. She’s made defense important to us and that is contagious.”
Defensively, Florida State was at its best, forcing the Golden Hurricane into 30 turnovers, and holding Tulsa to only 13 field goals and only 29.5 percent shooting from the floor. The Tribe prevented Tulsa from scoring a single point off of a fast break, and the Golden Hurricane was limited to only five, second-chance points, as Florida State doubled up Tulsa in offensive rebounds at 20-10.
“To turn a team over 30 times, I can’t remember the last time we were able to do that,” Semrau said. “I think our mental game is catching up with our physical game right now and it’s a good time for that to be happening. To hold a team to the kind of shooting percentage that we did is something we want to be able to do night in and night out.”
For the second straight game, the Seminoles got off to a fast start and jumped out to a 9-2 lead but Tulsa came back to take the lead at 12-11 with 12:57 to go in the opening half after a Chivis Merriweather three-pointer for Tulsa. Davis-Cain and the Seminoles answered 21 seconds later to give FSU the lead for good with 12:36 remaining in the first period.
FSU led 33-18 at the break and led by at least 10 points the entire second half. Both times the Golden Hurricane pulled to within 10 points, Davis-Cain answered. She scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the second half. Junior Nikki Anthony played a season-high 24 points and finished the game with a career-high 12 rebounds and six points. Shante Williams added seven points and a game-high six assists.
“We’ve actually as a staff really worked and talked about finding a way to get Nikki (Anthony) on the floor with Britany (Miller),” Semrau said. “Also, getting Nikki on the floor with someone like Jacinta (Monroe) so our rebounding presence is even greater and she’s really responded well to that. She’s had to learn a lot of new things in the last two weeks.”
Jillian Robbins, the All-America candidate forward for Tulsa scored 15 points, marking her second-lowest point total for the season and pulled down 15 rebounds.
“Hats off to Florida State,” Tulsa head coach Charlene Thomas-Swinson said. “Sue (Semrau) did a very good job and they did a very good job of rattling us early on with having the turnovers that we had where they were able to capitalize on them.”
The Seminoles will depart Tallahassee for Starkville, Miss. where they will face Mississippi State Thursday, Nov. 30th at 7:00 p.m. It will be the first of three straight road games as FSU will continue its road swing with a two-game tournament at East Carolina, Dec. 2nd and 3rd.