Jan. 11, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball program earned its fifth-straight victory of the season Sunday with an 80-54 win against Clemson at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
FSU’s performance against the Tigers (10-6, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) was the team’s most balanced of the 2008-09 season. Not only did the Seminoles (14-4, 2-0) get things done on both offense and defense but they also excelled at beating Clemson in the very important hustle categories.
The Seminoles outrebounded the Tigers 47-31, outscored them in second-chance points 26-7 and had just 14 turnovers to go along with 15 assists.
“We rebounded the ball well and took care of it,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “Those are two things that you have to do well to be successful. To outrebound an ACC team by 16 rebounds is quite a feat in my mind. For us to have a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and for us to have Mara (Freshour) and Tanae (Davis-Cain) playing the way they did tonight really helps.”
Semrau’s praise of her two senior guards was well deserved against the Tigers.
Davis-Cain finished the contest with a game-high 21 points – 16 of which she garnered in the first half – on 7-for-17 shooting, including a 4-for-6 mark from 3-point range. She also added a season-high eight rebounds.
As for Freshour, FSU’s do-it-all guard has been asked to serve in a variety of roles all season long. Sunday, it was her role as scorer that really set the tone for Florida State throughout the contest.
The Nashville, Ind. native accrued a season-high 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with a season-best nine rebounds. She also got her teammates involved by dishing out four assists.
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe and true freshman center Cierra Bravard also scored in double figures for the Seminoles. Monroe earned her fourth double-double of the year and first in the past 14 games with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Bravard added 17 points and eight rebounds.
FSU’s scoring onslaught coincided with a stout defensive performance. While the Seminoles were spreading the basketball and getting points from several players, the defense held Clemson to just 35.6-percent shooting.
And perhaps most importantly, the Seminoles didn’t allow the Tigers to cut too deep into a lead that was as many as 26 points in the second half – unlike the team’s win over Virginia Tech when the Hokies were able to eliminate a large FSU lead despite still losing.
“The Virginia Tech game, we let them get back into it,” Freshour said. “We were up big and then we let them have a run and then we were up big again and let them have another run. I think we showed tonight that we are making strides in getting better about not relaxing with a lead. We got a good lead on Clemson and they were able to score some points but never make a big run against us in the second half.”
Lele Hardy led Clemson with 12 points and April Parker added 10 in the loss.
The Seminoles shot 41.5-percent from the field and were an even 50 percent from the 3-point line en route to achieving the second-high offensive output of the season.
Florida State’s busy conference schedule continues Thursday when the Seminoles travel to play at NC State. Tip-off for that contest is slated for 7 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.