Feb. 17, 2008
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –
Despite playing one of its better offensive games on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference, it wasn’t enough for the Florida State women’s basketball team as the Seminoles dropped a 97-77 decision to third-ranked North Carolina on Sunday (February 17) at Carmichael Auditorium.
The Seminoles lost their third road game in a row, second overall, to drop to 15-10, 5-5 in the ACC. North Carolina remained unbeaten in the ACC at 11-0 and improved to 24-2 on the year. UNC’s 97 points are the sixth-most ever scored against FSU in an ACC game.
“It’s tough to be a team that’s only been together for seven games and go on the road in the ACC,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Those of us at Florida State we expecting one thing this year and when expectations are broken down, there are a lot of things that teams can do. Fortunately there are enough players on this team that will pull each other up to say `So what? We’ve got a new set of expectations now, let’s go after them.’ and I think you saw that in the second half.”
Reaching 20 points for the second game in a row and the third time in her last four contests was guard Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) as she led all scorers with 25 points. The junior has put up 10 or more points in her last 12 games. Also reaching double figures was freshman Christian Hunnicutt (Jonesboro, Ga.) at 11. Every player scored at least two points with five players putting in seven or more.
For the second game in a row, Davis-Cain was FSU’s top scorer and rebounder as she grabbed seven rebounds. She was also one of three Seminoles to nab a trio of steals. Guard Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) dished out seven assists.
The Seminoles out-shot the Tar Heels in the second half, but North Carolina had the advantage for the game, 52.3 percent (34-of-65) to 43.9 percent (29-of-66). UNC benefited from making as many free throws (26-of-38) as Florida State took (15-of-26). North Carolina out-rebounded Florida State 43-to-34 but FSU had a slim margin in offensive boards (18-to-17).
With a starting five that boasted three players 6-foot-1 or taller, North Carolina was able to go inside and scored 52 of its points in the paint, compared to 42 for the Seminoles. Florida State turned the ball over a season-high 29 times which led to 27 UNC points. FSU got 21 points off 23 Tar Heel miscues.
“This team has had a lot of resilience,” Semrau added. “We continue to beat the teams that are lower than us in the RPI. That’s what we’ve got to continue to do. Most of our games against ranked teams have been on the road. It’s not an excuse it’s a reason and a reason we need to continue to get better as we got into NCAA play.”
Florida State looked like it was going to get off to a strong start as Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) scored a lay-up right off the opening tip. However, North Carolina responded by scoring the next 13 points and it wasn’t until a Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) basket at the 16:12 mark that FSU was back on the scoreboard. The Seminoles would fight back as Davis-Cain made a pair of baskets and Hunnicutt knocked down a jumper to pull FSU to within four (14-10) at the 14:17 mark.
A Davis-Cain three pointer made it a five-point game (18-13), but Florida State would make just two more baskets over a 3:38 stretch. That allowed the Tar Heels to push the lead to double digits for the first time (28-18). North Carolina would extend the lead to as many as 18 with FSU getting it down to 13 on two occasion, the last coming on a Williams’ jumper at the 1:52 mark before North Carolina took a 48-32 lead into the half.
Leading all scorers during the first 20 minutes was Davis-Cain as she poured in 14 points, grabbed a team-best four rebounds and had two steals. Williams dished out four assists and Ward added three.
North Carolina’s ability to get into the paint – the Tar Heels got 26 of their 48 points in the paint – allowed UNC to out-shoot Florida State 58.1 percent (18-of-31) to 39.4 percent (13-of-33). Neither team shot well from the free throw line, but UNC made more free throws (10-of-17) than Florida State took (3-of-7).
The host had a 22-to-16 advantage on the glass, but Florida State did have a slight advantage in offensive rebounds (10-9). The Seminoles committed a first-half season-high 16 turnovers, but they also forced 12 North Carolina miscues as the two teams each got 10 points from turnovers.
As has been the case for the last few road games, the Seminoles got a quick basket to open the second half, only to go into a drought. A basket by Williams started the scoring for Florida State, but it would be nearly three minutes later before FSU scored again. During that stretch, North Carolina pushed its lead to 20 for the first time. The Tar Heels stretched their margin to as many as 33 twice. Florida State ended the game on a 20-7 run over the last five minutes.
The Seminoles are back at home for the first time in two weeks when they play host to Boston College on Thursday (February 21) at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 1270 AM and Seminoles.com as well as see on ACC Select.