March 1, 2006
The Florida State women’s basketball team (19-8, 10-4 ACC) will depart for Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, March 1st for the 2006 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Because the Seminoles finished fourth in the league, they will have a first-round bye.
“I think it is really important if you have any kind of vision for going to the championship game of the tournament because four days, four games is a very difficult task,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “It’s been done, but at the same time, it’s a lot easier if you have the chance to play three back-to-back games instead so I’m very proud of my team for finishing in the top four in the ACC.”
The Seminoles will face the winner of Thursday’s match up between #5 seed NC State (17-10, 7-7 ACC) and #12 seed Clemson (8-20, 2-12 ACC) on Friday, March 3rd at 4 p.m. The game will be televised regionally but will not air on Sun Sports. Florida State is 3-0 vs. those two teams this season. FSU and NC State have never met in an ACC Tournament while the Seminoles are 0-1 vs. Clemson in ACC Tourney play.
“NC State is a very dangerous team,” Semrau said. “They’re playing very well right now. They beat Boston College at Boston College in their final game of the year. They are a team that has a lot of size, a lot of athleticism but I think we match up with them very well defensively and that’s the thing that we hang our hats on. We feel if we can match up with a team defensively then it gives us a good chance to win.
“Clemson is a team that plays a lot of different defenses, but again, I think we match up pretty well if we stay out of foul trouble with them,” Semrau continued. “They are a team that’s going to feel like they have their backs up against a wall but they have nothing to lose and probably a lot to prove.”
After being predicted to finish sixth in the 2005-06 preseason poll, Florida State, for the fifth time in six years, finished in upper echelon of the Atlantic Coast Conference with a fourth-place finish. This season is the fourth time FSU has earned the No. 4 seed and the first time in back-to-back years. The Seminoles have not fared well in ACC Tournaments in the past and have recorded just three wins in 17 ACC tourney games.
“I think it’s just the growth of the program,” Semrau said. “Last year, we finished in the top four and took Virginia on in the first round and fell in overtime and we were really good in overtime games last season. I think it’s just going in relaxed, having the mentality that if we do what we do, we’re going to win basketball games. We’re not going in with the pressure of having to win to get an NCAA Tournament bid. We just need to go in and play our best.”
While the postseason begins Friday for Florida State, the Seminoles hope it’s the beginning of a long “second” season.
“Winning in the ACC Tournament always helps your seeding in the NCAA Tournament,” Semrau said. “Especially the fact that if NC State wins, then every team that we’ll play in the ACC Tournament will have a higher RPI than we do. That can only help us in our cause for the NCAA Tournament.”
FSU has won four straight games and eight of the last nine. Since falling in its first three ACC road games, the Seminoles became road warriors and won their next four road contests. Alicia Gladden, a third team All-ACC honoree and member of the ACC All-Defensive Team, has scored in double figures in the last 11 straight games while Holly Johnson is right behind at nine games. Ganiyat Adeduntan has managed double figures in the last six straight contests. FSU has been successful with its balance this season and has had at least one player score 20 or more points in each of the last four games, all wins, and it has been by four different players.
“Defensively, we are playing our best basketball and when we use our defense to generate our offense, that’s when we’re exciting,” Semrau said. “Tournament-time, no matter who we play, the way we match up if going to come down to how we defend and how we rebound.”
FSU’s game on Friday will be aired on WFLA AM 1270 in Tallahassee and via the Internet on www.seminoles.com.