Oct. 31, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
A 10-4 run during the first two and half minutes of the game was all the 19th-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team would need to secure the victory in its exhibition opener. The Seminoles lead never dipped below double digits for the last 22 minutes of the game as they cruised to an 89-61 win over DT3 on Wednesday (Oct. 31).
Leading all scorers were juniors Brittany Miller (Tallapoosa, Ga.) and Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) as they put up 24 and 21 points, respectively. Junior guard Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) was tops on the boards with eight rebounds, while freshman guard Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) dished out a team-best seven assists. Florida State had four players in double figures as Freshour tossed in 15 and rookie forward Antionette Howard (Snellville, Ga.) added 10.
“It was a good starting point,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We want to become a better rebounding team. We out rebounded them, but I still didn’t like the way we pursued the basketball. I didn’t like the way we shot at the free throw line, but I liked that we got to the free throw line 31 times.”
Florida State was too much for DT3 on the inside and that proved to be the difference in three key areas. The Seminoles out shot DT3 55.9 percent (33-of-59) to 32.1 percent (18-of-56), which contributed to a 40-18 advantage for points in the paint.
Rebounding was another big component as the Seminoles out-rebounded DT3, 46-26. Every player in the game had at least one rebound and five players had five or more: Freshour (8), Ward (7), Jacinta Monroe (7), Miller (6) and Howard (5). FSU’s 12 offensive rebounds led to 19 second-chance points.
“For a freshman point guard, Courtney Ward came out and made a lot of things happen for us,” Semrau added. “I thought the other players really responded to her playing that position. Tanae and Mara both had great shooting nights from the wing. I thought that they did a great job of finding Britany on the inside.”
The duo of Miller and Davis-Cain accounted for 14 of FSU’s first 23 points as the lead reached double digits at the 11:21 mark on a jumper by Miller. The lead would grow to as many as 15 in the first half, the first time coming on a lay-up by Howard to make it a 27-12 margin with 8:51 to play.
After a free throw by Angel Gray (Stone Mountain, Ga.) made it a 33-19 game in FSU’s favor, DT3 scored five-straight points to cut the margin to 33-24 with 2:30 remaining. The Seminoles ended the half on a 7-2 run that was capped by Davis-Cain’s third three-pointer of the half to give FSU a 41-26 lead going into the locker room.
Florida State’s dominance on the inside was the difference in the first half as it outscored DT3 16-6 in the paint and held a 65.2 (15-of-23) to 31.0 (9-of-29) shooting percentage. The Seminoles also out-rebounded DT3 20-to-11 and shot 4-of-5 from three-point range. Davis-Cain scored 12 of her 21 points in the first 20 minutes.
The second half was much of the same for the Seminoles as they pushed the lead to 18 (53-35) on a Miller jumper with 13:17 to play. DT3 nearly got the lead to single digits as Tallahassee native Dalila Eshe hit a lay up with 7:17 left to make it a 61-50 lead. Another Miller lay up capped a 10-0 run that got the margin to 20 for the first time (71-50) at the 5:42 mark. Florida State finished the game on an 18-9 run as the lead reached 30 (89-59) on a pair of Freshour free throws.
Miller produced nearly a third of Florida State’s second-half points as she had 15 markers and six boards in the final stanza. Freshour had 10 points in the second half and Davis-Cain added nine more.
The Seminoles are back in action on Monday (November 5) when they play their final exhibition game against Michael T. White at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.