Dec. 16, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After losing its last two games during a four-game road trip that spanned 26 days, a return home was exactly what the Florida State women’s basketball team needed. Five different players reached double figures as the Seminoles recorded their biggest victory of the year, beating Alabama State 94-42 on Sunday (December 16) at the Tucker Center.
With the victory, Florida State improved to 7-3 on the year. The win was the sixth-biggest in school history and the largest margin of victory since FSU beat Savannah State 107-28 on November 23, 2003. FSU has won all three games at home this year and its last four at the Tucker Center. Alabama State dropped to 2-4.
The replay of the game can be seen anytime on ACC Select on Demand.
“It was a fun game to come back to after finals and a long layoff,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I’m really proud of the way our team stepped it off defensively. That’s something we really worked on when we got back from Texas A&M and I thought that showed today.”
Contributing to more than a third of the Seminoles’ baskets was guard Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) as she handed out a career-high 13 assists. Also having a career day was forward Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) who blocked a career-high seven shots. Both players were just one away from trying the single-game school record.
All nine players in the games scored at least four points, led by guard Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) who led the way with 16 points. Guard Alysha Harvin (Dania, Fla.) was next with 15 in her first game since serving a nine-game suspension for violation of team standards. Guards Tanae Davis-Cain and Angel Gray have been suspended for violation of team standards. Freshour did most of her damage from downtown, hitting four three-pointers as part of the Seminoles’ season-high tying nine threes.
A pair of freshman had their best scoring games as Seminoles. Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) tossed in 14 points and Christian Hunnicutt (Jonesboro, Ga.) scored 10. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was center Britany Miller (Tallapoosa, Ga.) with a dozen.
“We’re not real deep right now so we want to make sure that everybody feels confident in their game experience,” Semrau added. “I thought the time that they spent going through the hard things of last week, they really gained confidence through doing the tough things. They all brought great energy to today’s game and that comes with confidence.”
Miller was one of three Seminoles to grab a team-high half dozen rebounds along with Hunnicutt and Monroe. Every player had at least two boards. Miller had a career-high five steals while Harvin also had a personal-best, swiping four balls.
The Seminoles had an outstanding second half shooting, as their 62.9 percent (22-of-35) rate led to 53.5 percent (38-of-71) for the game. Alabama State shot 22.6 percent (12-for-53), which is the lowest clip since Savannah State hit 22.2 percent (12-of-54).
Florida State dominated the boards, holding a 51-to-30 advantage, including 20 offensive rebounds. FSU also forced ASU into 30 turnovers, which led to 39 FSU points. The Seminoles held a 36-to-10 margin in points in the paint and 22-to-6 in second-chance points.
“I think we really mirror last year’s team,” Semrau added. “Last year we were a team that was really trying to find itself this time of year. We’re a team that is continually trying to find their identity. I think we found an identity today with our defense. If our defense can make us go, things flow so more smoothly on offense.”
Still knocking the rust off from their 10-day layoff, the Seminoles had numerous scoring opportunities in the first half, but could not convert a lot of them in the opening 10 minutes. Florida State was 7-of-20 during the first 10 minutes but held a 16-11 advantage at the 10:30 mark on a Williams’ lay-up.
The next 10 minutes was a stark contrast as Florida State outscored Alabama State 23-6. The Seminoles went on a 16-4 run to open a 32-16 advantage at the 2:38 mark on a Cayla Moore (Albany, Ga.) lay-in. Keying the run offensively was Freshour as she scored half of FSU’s points during that stretch. FSU took its biggest lead of the half right before the buzzer as Harvin canned a three-pointer with five seconds remaining to send the Seminoles into the locker room with a 39-17 advantage.
Reaching double digits before the half was over was Freshour as she dropped in 10 points while Harvin was one back. Both players grabbed a team-best five rebounds in the first half. Williams nearly got to her career-high in the first half as she handed out eight assists. Miller was tops at three steals.
Florida State nearly doubled Alabama State’s shooting percentage, holding a 44.4 percent (16-of-36) to 23.3 percent (7-of-30) advantage. Rebounds were another big factor for Florida State as it grabbed 28 – including 12 on the offensive glass – to the Hornets’ 16. Alabama State turned the ball over 14 times, which led to 18 points for the Seminoles.
A 6-0 run to start the second half got the Seminoles lead to 30 points at the 17:36 mark on a Williams’ three-pointer. A pair of free throws briefly got the margin under 30, but that would be as close as ASU would get the rest of the game.
Florida State went on a 14-0 run midway through the half to push the margin to 67-23 (44) on a Monroe lay-up at the 10:15 mark. It would reach 50 (82-32) for the first time on an Antionette Howard (Snellville, Fla.) jumper at 5:04 and got as large as 56 (90-34) off a Miller lay-in with 2:22 to go. Ward scored all of her points in the second half, while Miller had eight in the second stanza and Howard added seven.
The Seminoles play their final game before the Christmas break when they travel to UAB for a 7 p.m. (CST) contest on Thursday, December 20). The game can be heard on 100.7 FM and Seminoles.com