Nov. 27, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau wanted to get the attention of her veterans and boy did she. Semrau benched four of her starters and had three freshmen and two sophomores in the line up at the start of Sunday’s Seminole Classic championship game vs. Montana. The Seminoles, who improved to 4-1, scored 11 of the game’s first 15 points and never trailed as they earned a 69-56 victory over the Lady Griz at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Montana dropped to 3-1 on the year with the loss.
“We just haven’t been getting the same kind of energy we need from the four veterans,” Semrau said. “The younger players have stepped up and given us a bunch of energy. I think you saw by the start today and the start at halftime that they come in and have great purpose and come in with a lot of intensity and that’s what we need.”
Freshman Britany Miller, who has started all five games this season, was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after averaging a team-leading 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two wins. She had 10 points in Sunday’s victory.
With a 13-point lead at 36-23 at halftime, Florida State played the second half to maintain the victory. Ten Seminoles in all saw action in the game with nine of them playing 18 or more minutes. FSU’s largest lead of the second half was 19 points but the Lady Griz did continue to fight and 13 strong second half points by Dana Conway helped Montana close in to seven points with 3:26 remaining but the Seminoles made their free throws down the stretch.
“I really thought we made progress as a defensive basketball team today,” Semrau said. “We applied great pressure. Our guards and post players did a nice job getting around when (6-2) Tamara Guardipee was in the game. We put Britany (Miller) and a smaller post player up on her and they did a nice job on her. We did a great job going to the offensive boards in the first half and I thought that was the difference.”
Ganiyat Adeduntan and Holly Johnson, had 13 and 11 points, respectively off of the bench. All 11 of Johnson’s points came from the free throw line, including FSU’s last five points. Sophomore Nikki Anthony, who along with Adeduntan was named to the Seminole Classic All-Tournament Team, got the start and had 10 points.
“I was just thinking to myself that I have to play hard because that’s the reason I’m not starting,” Adeduntan said. “I have to be more intense. I thought about it long and hard while I was sitting there so I came in with a different kind of focus.”
Adeduntan’s 11-point first half effort sparked the Seminoles. FSU was leading 7-4 and Adeduntan scored 11 of FSU’s next 14 points. Her three-pointer at the 12:26 mark started a 9-0 Florida State run and the Seminoles led by as many as 19 points with 9:34 remaining in the first half. Florida State’s largest lead of the first half was 23 points but the Seminoles managed just two points in the final 7:51 of the half.
FSU’s defense held Montana leading scorer Katie Edwards to just 11 points, including four points in the second half. She entered Sunday’s game averaging 20.3 points per game.
“Both Tanae (Davis-Cain) and Quint (Neely) just locked up,” Semrau said. “They both were in Edwards’ face all night. She’s a great, great shooter. Last year, she really did a job on us as well and to be able to hold her to 4-for-17 was part of the key to the game. I thought our point guards did a great job of pressuring up on (point guard) Sonya Rogers and that made it hard for her to deliver the ball.”
Florida State has now won six straight Seminole Classics. Sunday’s win over Montana avenged last year’s 60-49 loss to the Lady Griz in Missoula, Montana which snapped FSU’s 12-game winning streak.
The team will return to action Friday vs. Mississippi State at 4:30 p.m. at the Tucker Center. The game will be televised on Sun Sports.
SEMINOLE CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Britany Miller, Florida State