March 23, 2009 - by
Florida State To Face Arizona State Monday At 7:16 p.m. On ESPN2 In NCAA Tournament Second Round

March 22, 2009 Gameday Information

#12 Florida State Seminoles (26-7) (12-2 ACC)
Roster Schedule / Results
#19 Arizona State Sun Devils (24-8) (15-3 Pac-10)
Roster Schedule / Results
Stats Media Coverage
Game Notes
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NCAA Tournament Interactive Bracket TV:  ESPN2

The No. 3 seed Florida State women’s basketball team, 26-7 and ranked No. 13, will play No. 6 seed Arizona State, 24-8 and ranked No. 19th in the nation, Monday, March 23rd in NCAA Tournament second round action at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.  Tipoff for the contest is scheduled for 7:16 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.  Monday night’s winner advances to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen.

On Sunday, both teams conducted an hour and half practice followed by a press conference.  Quotes from those press conferences are below as are Florida State’s game notes.

Pre-Second Round Quotes

Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau

“We’re excited to be back here and preparing for a great basketball team in Arizona State. We’re as excited to be playing so close to home. We are excited about the fact that we are the team from the south that’s represented here in Gwinnett Arena. We’ve got four players on our team from Georgia. We had, I think, 15 Florida State [basketball] alumni that were back and watching our game yesterday. We’re hoping the shade of red turns a little bit towards the garnet side and we get a bunch of fans out here to see good women’s basketball. I know it was disappointing that Georgia was eliminated from the tournament, but they’ve done a fantastic job hosting, and I know that the fans in the state of Georgia will come out and support a tremendous basketball event tomorrow night.”

“I think about the adversity Arizona State has faced in the last couple of games, and I think back to the types of adversity we’ve faced in our program. All I know is that adversity makes you stronger. We’re very well aware of that, and we’re ready to face a team that is really going to be coming together in a big way tomorrow night.” 

“Arizona State reminds us of Duke defensively and Boston College offensively. We have a lot of respect for both of those two teams and what they are able to do.”

“They’re very skilled. They play so hard. We are coming to have to match that and come up with a great game.” 

“We’ve got to avoid screens. They are a great screening team. They screen well to get their players open, and they’re very patient. We’ve got to be ready to defend for 30 seconds. We’ve seen patient teams before, and we’re going to see another tomorrow night.”

“They’ve got a great post game. They’re really deep in their post. That’s why I liken them a lot to Boston College. They’ve got great size and the ability to shoot the basketball. Our posts are going to be in for a huge match-up on both ends of the floor.” 

On having only one day to prepare for an opponent:

“We’re used to it now. It’s tough. When you’re preparing for conference games, you’ve watched almost every game they’ve played. That’s the difference in the NCAA Tournament. We can’t take away everything they like to do; we don’t know everything they like to do – and vice versa. It makes it a player’s game instead of a coach’s game, which I think the players like a whole lot more than the other.”

“The last thing I would say is to encourage the people of Atlanta and Gwinnett County to come out tomorrow and see great basketball tomorrow night. We’re excited and ready to go.” 

Florida State‘s Tanae Davis-Cain

“Just coming back and refocusing today in practice and coming out tomorrow with the mentality to play some great defense. Arizona State is a great team. We’ve just got to come out and play.”

On taking away Arizona State’s ability to shoot the three:

“Just penetrate, get our posts involved and get other people involved. We’re not a one-player team.”

“Well, I think they’re a great team like any other team. They made it to the NCAA tournament for a reason. They’re a very good team.” 

“I’m ready to play. Let’s get the ball rolling.”

Florida State‘s Mara Freshour

“Obviously, we have a short turn around just like Arizona State does. These games are always pretty interesting because you don’t have a couple of days to prepare. We’re trying to focus in as much as we could in a short practice today. Tomorrow is all about which team can come out and play their game the best. We’re just going to try and make them play our game and see what happens.”

On the game with North Carolina A&T:

“We’re not used to being the higher seed and we kind of played like we weren’t the higher seed. We know everyone is going to be coming after us from here on out.” 

On Arizona State:

“I really haven’t seen them (Arizona State) play that much. We saw them yesterday and we saw them on film. Sometimes I think it’s a better game when you don’t know much about a team. I don’t think we’re going to do anything differently. We’re going to run our transition game the same as we always do. We’re going to run our sets the same as we always do. We’re going to take what they give us.”

“We’re ready to go. We’ve sat in the hotel long enough. We’re ready to tip off tomorrow night.” 

Arizona State Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne

“Florida State is a very good basketball team. I’m very impressed with how explosive they are offensively, with their balanced scoring. We’re trying to find a few chinks in their armor, and it’s been tough to do. They just play tough defense. They’re an aggressive team. I can see why they had so much success this year. They just have good toughness about them, obviously, with their success on the road. They wouldn’t have had that success without their toughness.”

“We’re excited and we feel like we’re getting a good sense of them. We had a good practice today and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow night.” 

“I think it’s going to be a great game. We’re both teams that not just used to being in the tournament, but are used to advancing. It’s a good match-up.”

“Florida State has got six really good scorers. Their guards’ three-point percentages are outstanding, and they are good off-the-dribble players as well. They have good size on the perimeter, and then when you go inside they have players that are very skilled, and then they have that big girl coming in off the bench. I haven’t really found a team to compare them to. They’re as talented a offensive team as we’ve played this year, for sure.” 

“They are really going to challenge our post to play perimeter defense. They’re impressive. They definitely execute well. I’ve seen them against a lot of different styles of defense, and they’ve been effective, offensively.”

“We’re going to do what we do: play great team defense, be there for each other, try to take away as many open looks as we can, limit them to one shot, and I think we’ll be okay.” 

“The most important thing is that we don’t let them play to their strengths.”

“The hospitality here has been fantastic; it’s been an incredible experience. To the Georgia fans that are still looking for a team to root for, we do hope that you come out and support the tournament, even if you don’t root for us, but  — hint, hint, wink, wink – we could use a few fans. We are the team that’s furthest from home, so if anybody wants to come out and root for the Sun Devils, we would really appreciate it.” 

On being without Dymond Simon:

“We’re over the hump [emotionally], and that’s what yesterday’s game [against Georgia] showed. People have adjusted both offensively and defensively. People have come off the bench and have done more things that these people are capable of doing, but we didn’t need them to do it prior to now.”

Arizona State Player Briann January

“We’re up against a great team like Charli said and we are as excited as we were the first game so we’re just ready to go.”

“They’re a very explosive team and we talked about it today. We just want to be really smart on their shot selections because early shots can lead to them having transition opportunities. I think if we just play our defense and our style and containing ball pressure, taking away post entries and doing what we do, it will lead to points.” 

“Our coaches set up a great schedule for us just to prepare us for this time of the year. We’re going to be facing great teams day in and day out and we’ve pretty much seen the best in the nation so we’re prepared for whatever we come up against.”

“I’m excited and it’s going to be a tough game so I’m ready to go.”

Arizona State‘s Lauren Lacey

“We’re excited. Florida State is definitely a great team. They have proven why they are one of the best teams in the ACC, but we have a great game plan to go into tomorrow night.”

“We’ve played against the best, we’ve played at the toughest stadiums, we’ve had to defend some of the toughest offensive players in the country so I definitely think we’re prepared for this game tomorrow and many other games in the NCAA tournament.” 

“It’s fun to get a team and have a day to prepare for them. For me that’s fun because they’re brand new. Obviously conference play is great but when you play a team three times it’s just so repetitive so getting a new scouting report last night and being able to watch film today on a new great team is just fun.”

“I just think everyone should ready for a great battle tomorrow night and we’re going to give it all we got so it should be fun.” 

Arizona State‘s Danielle Orsillo

“We’re definitely pumped to play this game. We’re playing a great team. We’ve been here before and we’re exited to play a tough team on the road and I think we match up well and we’re going to do well tomorrow.”

“I feel like our preseason schedule was perfect for this time of year because we’re on the road. We played a tough schedule and that has made us tough. I’m excited to see us come out tomorrow.”

“If you don’t learn from a loss like the USC loss, it’s worthless. We’ve taken what happened against USC and learned from it. We’re just going to follow through on screens and just be there where the shooters are.” 

“During the Pac-10 season we play two games a weekend so we are used to scouting and preparing for a team in one day. But this is going to be a fun new challenge because we don’t know Florida State like we know our conference teams. It’s going to be exciting.”



With the win over North Carolina A&T, Florida State is now 8-8 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, including 7-5 under Sue Semrau’s direction.

FSU’s only Sweet Sixteen appearance occurred because of a win over another Pac 10 team – Stanford – back in 2007.  The year prior, the Seminoles failed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen because of an 88-70 loss to Stanford.  Monday’s game vs. Arizona State will mark the first time in FSU history that the Seminoles will play a second round game as the higher seed.

1983-84    L    70-85    (N)

While FSU and Arizona State have met just one time, an 85-70 loss back on Nov. 18, 1983, the Seminoles are 2-7 all-time vs. current Pac 10 teams.  FSU has faced just one other Pac 10 team this season – a 62-60 loss vs. Washington on Dec. 19th.  
Series records vs. Pac 10 teams:
0-1 vs. Arizona State
0-1 vs. Cal
0-1 vs. Oregon State
2-1 vs. Stanford
0-3 vs. Washington
2-7 overall

Mara Freshour’s eight assists against North Carolina A&T not only tied the senior’s career-high for assists but also tied the FSU NCAA Tournament record for most assists in a game. Freshour joins former Seminoles LaQuinta Neely and Holly Johnson as the only Florida State players to dish out that many assists in an NCAA Tournament game.
Florida State’s 23 assists in the win over North Carolina A&T is a season-high for the Seminoles and the team’s most since recording 23 assists in the NCAA Tournament first round win over Richmond on March 20, 2005. The mark also ties the program record for most assists in an NCAA Tournament game.

Tanae Davis-Cain’s nine three-point attempts ties the FSU NCAA Tournament record for most triple attempts in a game. In fact, Davis-Cain already owns that record as she attempted nine three-points in both tourney games last season. Mara Freshour also attempted nine last year in the game against Oklahoma State.

Florida State nine three-pointers in the win over North Carolina A&T tied the school’s record in NCAA play.  The Seminoles have now recorded nine three-pointers in three NCAA Tournament games.  Last season vs. Ohio State and vs. Richmond in 2005 are the other two times.
The Seminoles shot a season-high 57 percent from the field in the win over North Carolina A&T which is the highest by an FSU team since the Seminoles shot 57.7 percent in the 2007 NCAA Tournament first round win over Old Dominion on March 17, 2007.

Alysha Harvin’s team-high 18 points in the win over North Carolina A&T marked the junior’s 11th game this season in double figures and is the most points Harvin has scored in a game since recording her career-high 20 points vs. Temple on December 3, 3008 – 25 games ago.  Prior to Saturday’s game, Harvin had managed just 21 points total in five NCAA Tournament games.

The NC A&T win marked the seventh time this season that five Seminoles have scored in double figures in a game and FSU is 6-1 in those games.  

Heading into the NCAA Tournament, FSU was averaging 23.5 free throw attempts per game and had attempted more free throws than its opponent in 22 games.  In the win over North Carolina A&T, however, it was a totally different story.  The Seminoles attempted just 12 free throws, tying its season-low (also attempted just 12 free throws in the loss to Virginia on February 24th).  The good news, though, was that the Seminoles made 10 of those 12 attempts for 83.3 percent.

Florida State’s 26 wins this season rank second-best in program history and are the most wins since the 1981-82 season when the Seminoles finished 28-10.  Since 1973-74 when season records were kept, FSU has recorded eight 20-win seasons, including four of the last five seasons, and only Sue Semrau has led a team to this feat more than twice and she’s done so four times.

The Seminoles scored 80+ points for the ninth time this season with their 83-71 win over North Carolina A&T and improved to 9-0 in those games.  In NCAA Tournament play, the 83 points scored by the Seminoles ranks 4th in FSU history.  Take a look:

1991 – FSU 96, Appalachian State 57
2005 – FSU 87, Richmond 54
2007 – FSU 85, Old Dominion 75
2009 – FSU 83, North Carolina A&T
2006 – FSU 80, Richmond 71

For Angel Gray and her family … March Madness is a very exciting time of the year.  Not only is Gray participating in the NCAA Tournament once again, but her sister Nadine Morgan, an assistant coach at Purdue, is also advancing to second round action in the 2009 Big Dance.  Purdue will play North Carolina Monday night in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Gray is familiar with the Tar Heels as the Seminoles defeated UNC in the only meeting between the two schools this season.  Diamond Hunnicutt, younger sister of FSU sophomore Christian Hunnicutt, and the Western Carolina Catamounts also advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament but fell in first round action, 73-44, to Vanderbilt.

With her 16 points in the win over North Carolina A&T, senior Davis-Cain extends her double-figure scoring streak to 13 straight games.  Overall this season, Davis-Cain has scored in double figures in 26 games.

With 14 points in the NCAA Tournament first round game vs. North Carolina A&T, senior Mara Freshour has now scored in double figures in three straight NCAA Tournament games and five of the last six.  In eight NCAA Tournament appearances, Freshour is averaging 10.0 points per game.

Florida State tied its season-low in rebounds with 30 in the North Carolina A&T win and got outrebounded for the third straight game, the fourth time in the last five games and for the 10th time this season overall.  FSU is 5-5 when getting outrebounded this season.

She already owns the record for most blocks in a career (222) but Saturday against North Carolina A&T, junior Jacinta Monroe broke the school record for blocks in a single season. With her three swats in the game, she now has 81 this season, which is one more than the previous record of 80 held by Brooke Wyckoff.
Mara Freshour moved into a tie with former Seminole Glenda Stokes for first place on the all-time games-played list at Florida State. When she suits up and plays against Arizona State on Monday, FSU’s senior captain will officially own the record for most games played in a Florida State career with 131.

Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour combined for 30 points in the win over North Carolina A&T.  The two are used to making history as Seminoles as they are the first in program history to play in four straight NCAA Tournaments, have led Florida State to its highest national ranking and led the Seminoles to a first-place finish in the ACC regular-season, also a program-first.

The Seminoles will play their 10th game vs. a ranked opponent when they face the No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils. FSU has gone 5-4 vs. ranked opponents this season and achieved four-straight victories against top 25 opponents before the buzzer-beater loss to then-No. 8 Maryland. The Seminoles beat No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 3 Duke, and No. 24 Georgia Tech at home, but also beat No. 14 Virginia on the road in Charlottesville, Va. That victory marked the first time since 2005 that the Seminoles had beaten a ranked opponent in a true road game.


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