Dec. 5, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball team is set to travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to play against Temple this Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Seminoles (8-2) are coming off an impressive 73-60 victory over Penn State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Wednesday at home.
FSU’s matchup against the Owls (4-2) at the Liacouras Center will mark just the second time this season that the squad will face an opponent in their home gym. FSU participated in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on the campus of Colorado State University last week but did not play against the host Rams.
The Seminoles’ lone contest in enemy territory so far this season was a successful trip to Jacksonville, Fla., where they defeated UNF 60-49.
Year No. 12 Under Semrau
Head coach Sue Semrau is in her 12th season at the helm of the Seminole program. Semrau became FSU’s winningest coach in her ninth season on Feb. 19, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated Clemson 80-72 in overtime. Semrau has a 185-154 career record at FSU. She has guided the Seminoles to double-digit victories in nine straight seasons and to four straight NCAA Tournaments.
REPRESENTING THE ACC
The Florida State women’s basketball program heads to Philadelphia, Pa., for a showdown with Temple after defeating Penn State 73-60 in its previous outing as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The victory over the Lady Lions was keyed by a tough FSU defense and double-digit scoring by junior forwards Jacinta Monroe (18 points) and Alysha Harvin (season-high 14 points) as well as true freshman center Cierra Bravard (15 points). As of Friday afternoon, the ACC is 7-2 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
A Look at Temple
The Owls enter Sunday’s game against the Seminoles after an impressive showing in the previous contest in which they thoroughly defeated Dartmouth 65-29. Temple fell into an early 10-4 hole but bounced back in a big way by going on a 23-0 run to spark the victory. In that contest, sophomore Shaqwedia Wallace led the Owls with a team-high 18 points while connecting on a career-high four 3-pointers.
Scouting the OWLS
FSU (6-2)…………… PER GAME…………….. (4-2) TU
70.2……………………… POINTS……………………. 69.3
.434 ………………………. FG%……………………… .437
.291………………………. 3 FG%…………………….. .292
.630……………………….. FT%……………………… .655
42.1……………………. REBOUNDS…………………… 41.3
12.8…………………….. ASSISTS……………………. 17.2
19.9…………………… TURNOVERS………………….. 17.3
9.5……………………….. STEALS………………………. 8.7
3.6……………………….. BLOCKS……………………… 5.0
Florida State vs. TEMPLE, The Series
The Seminoles and Owls are both even in a two-game series that dates back to the 1982-83 season. That year, FSU earned a 74-69 on Temple’s home floor while the Owls got some revenge during the 1995-96 campaign when they earned a 72-67 victory in the UCF Holiday Classic in Orlando, Fla.
FSU vs. the ATLANTIC Ten
Florida State boasts a 10-7 record all-time against current teams in the Atlantic Ten Conference. FSU has had the most success against Dayton as they boast a 3-0 record over the Flyers. FSU also has a winning record over Richmond (2-1), St. Joseph’s (2-0) and St. Louis (1-0). The Seminoles are 0-1 against Rhode Island, 0-2 against Duquesne and 1-2 against Xavier.
Let’s Make it an even .500
Against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 25, the FSU women’s basketball team earned program win No. 500. Now, entering the showdown with Temple the Seminoles have the chance to reach another milestone. With a victory, the women’s basketball team at Florida State will move to an even .500 with a record of 503-503 all-time in the history of the program. FSU head coach Sue Semrau has a lot to do with the Seminoles’ improved record through the years. When she began her tenure in time for the 1997-98 season, FSU was 32 games below .500 in the history of the program at 317-349.
DAVIS-CAIN CAN MAKE HISTORY
Even though she finds herself in a 2-for-15 shooting slump over the past two games, senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain can certainly can go a long way in turning things around against Temple and perhaps add a boost of confidence with one completed long shot. The Dawson, Ga., native is on the verge of history as she is just one 3-pointer away from tying and two “treys” shy of breaking the all-time record set by former Seminole Wendy Hampton who recorded 134 career three-pointers. Senior guard Mara Freshour also has the opportunity to leave her name in the 3-pointer record books as she is now five triples away from tying the record after hitting two vs. Penn State. In addition to moving up the career list for 3-pointers, both Davis-Cain and Freshour are steadily climbing in their respective quests to reach 1,000 career-points. The updated totals are:
Career Record: Wendy Hampton 134
Tanae Davis-Cain 133
Mara Freshour 129
Tanae Davis-Cain: 901
Mara Freshour: 826
HARVIN HAS HER BEST GAME OF THE SEASON
Florida State junior Alysha Harvin showed against Penn State that she can bounce back from a less-than-stellar effort. Harvin entered the Dec. 3 contest against the Lady Lions after struggling in the loss to Valparaiso. In that Crusaders win, Harvin battled with foul trouble and was held out of the scoring chart as she was 0-for-4 from the field. But against Penn State, the Dania, Fla., had her best game to date this year as she finished with a season-high 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. She was also 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. Harvin’s career high is 16 points, which she achieved on Jan. 6, 2007 against Virginia Tech.
SEMINOLES IN THE POST ARE PERFECT FROM THE LINE
Against Penn State, FSU post-players Jacinta Monroe and Cierra Bravard caused problems for the Lady Lions all night long. But while the two 6-foot-4 standouts combined for 32 points and seven rebounds, it was their collective foul shooting that is worth noting. Together, Monroe and Bravard were a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe as Monroe made all eight of her attempts and Bravard made all three of her freebies. As a team, FSU shot 73.9-percent from the free-throw line in that game.
FSU WINS THE BATTLE ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS
The Seminoles grabbed 20 offensive rebounds against Penn State, which was their second-highest total of the season. Although FSU coaches may choose to think of the victory over the Lady Lions as the best offensive rebounding performance because FSU’s season-high 24 offensive boards came in the upset loss to Florida on Nov. 23.
“FRESH” Makes Her return
After falling to the Florida Gators, FSU head coach Sue Semrau shook up her lineup by electing to start guards Christian Hunnicutt and Angel Gray over Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour. The Seminoles consequently went on a two-game winning streak before falling to Valparaiso. Once again, Semrau elected to switch things up following a loss as Freshour returned to the starting five against Penn State as the squad’s starting point guard instead of Courtney Ward. Freshour finished the game with eight points, three assists and four rebounds while playing a team-high 32 minutes.
NO fast-break buckets in the second half
Seminoles head coach Sue Semrau wasn’t pleased that her players allowed 12 fast-break points late in the first half against Penn State and she let them know about it at half time. Well, the Seminoles listened and responded accordingly. In the win over the Lady Lions, FSU didn’t allow a single fast-break point in the game’s final 20 minutes of play.
Despite playing two games away from their home floor in Fort Collins, Colo., for the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational, FSU’s matchup with Temple at the Liacouras Center will be just its second game in enemy territory this season. The Seminoles’ lone game in an opponent’s home gym this year came against North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. on Nov. 18. FSU held the Ospreys to just 49 points and forced 26 turnovers in that contest.
FSU GETS A BREAK IN TIME FOR FINALS
After a frantic start to the season, FSU will get a bit of a break after Sunday’s matchup with Temple. In observance of finals week at Florida State University, the women’s basketball program isn’t scheduled for another game until Mercer comes to Tallahassee, Fla., exactly one week after the contest against the Owls. A week between games will be the longest such break FSU has experienced this season.
Seminole shooting slump?
Florida State shot .397 from the field in the loss to Valparaiso. It marked the second lowest shooting output of the season as the Seminoles shot a dismal .324 in the loss to rival-Florida. So far this season, FSU is 0-2 when shooting below 40 percent from the field. Last season, FSU shot below 40 percent in 14 games and went 6-8 in those games. Last year’s season-low was .234 at Duke in a 70-38 loss. In the win over Penn State, the Seminoles weren’t much better as they made 40 percent of their shots on 26-for-65 shooting.
Monroe continues to alter shots
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe has led the Seminoles in blocked shots over the past two seasons and has steadily climbed the ranks as one of the greatest shot blockers in program history. With her four blocks against Penn State, Monroe now has 156 career blocked shots – just 53 swats shy of Brooke Wyckoff’s all-time record of 209 she set from 1997-2001.
Turnovers still a problem
The Seminoles have had some turnover issues through the first eight games and head coach Sue Semrau has been stressing to her squad to eliminate costly mistakes. After giving the ball away to Penn State 23 times, FSU is committing an average of 19.9 turnovers per contest. In the Sue Semrau era, FSU averaged 20+ turnovers per game in her first three seasons. In each of her NCAA Tournament seasons, FSU has averaged no more than 18.3 turnovers per game and that was last season.
FSU Turnovers Per Game In Semrau Era
2007-08 18.3 NCAA Tournament
2006-07 16.9 NCAA Tournament
2005-06 15.7 NCAA Tournament
2004-05 16.5 NCAA Tournament
2000-01 17.8 NCAA Tournament
Couldn’t Make it Eight … Yet
After going 1-1 at the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational at Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo., this past weekend, the Seminoles are 26-10 during in-season tournaments in the Sue Semrau era (since 1997-98). The ‘Noles have won seven in-season tournaments during Semrau’s tenure – including two during the 2004-05 season. FSU will have another chance when they play at the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico in late December.
Florida State’s stunning loss to Valparaiso in the championship game of the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., could be chalked up to a variety of factors; the least of which was foul issues. The Seminoles committed 29 fouls in the game and junior forward Alysha Harvin even fouled out. Credit the Crusaders with making the most of the FSU mistakes as Valparaiso players went to the free-throw line a school-record 42 times and made 35 of those attempts. The Seminoles made their free-throws too but they were only given 16 opportunities and cashed in on 13 of those attempts. While 29 fouls may seem like a lot, the Seminoles have had much worse problems with the foul whistle in the past. The school record for most fouls in a game was set during the 1998-99 season when FSU committed a whopping 55 against Clemson. The next highest total in school history is 36 fouls against South Florida on Jan. 8, 1982.
On a good note, the Seminoles shot a season-best 81 percent from the free throw line in the Valparaiso loss. It’s the best outing from the charity stripe since the Seminoles’ 82 percent performance in the loss to Duke last year on March 7, 2008.
Give Me Five
Florida State had five different players score in double figures in the Murray State and Valparaiso games marking the third time this season that this feat has been accomplished (FGCU was the other). Post-players Jacinta Monroe and Cierra Bravard have been among those five in all three games. Last season, FSU had five players in double figures in three games the entire season.
COORS ROCKY MOUNTAIN ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Jacinta Monroe averaged a team-high 11.5 points and was second on the team at 5.0 rebounds per game on her way to All-Tournament Team honors at the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational. Cierra Bravard and Mara Freshour each averaged 11.0 points per game in the tourney while Cayla Moore led all Seminoles on the boards with a 7.5 average.
Several Seminoles Set Season Highs
Say that five times fast! While the outcome in Colorado wasn’t what was expected, several Seminoles posted season highs during the two-game slate. In the 85-50 victory over Murray State, junior forward Alysha Harvin and sophomore guard Christian Hunnicutt both scored 11 points, which was a season high for both players at the time. Not to be outdone, junior forward Cayla Moore had her best game of the season as she registered a season high in both points (eight) and rebounds (10). In fact, Moore’s 10 boards put her just one shy of tying the career-high 11 she has grabbed on two separate occasions during her Seminole tenure. In the loss to Valparaiso, senior guard Mara Freshour tallied a season-high 16 points while sophomore guard Courtney Ward achieved season highs in both points (12) and assists (six). Junior guard Angel Gray also tied a career and season high with 10 points of her own. She also played in a career-high 30 minutes in the loss.
Defense Does the Job
Coach Semrau has said that the success of this year’s squad will largely be determined by the play of the defense. And the numbers back that sentiment up. In looking at FSU’s two losses this season to Florida and Valparaiso, the Gators and Crusaders have combined for 152 points.
FSU Gets Some Home Cookin’ on Thanksgiving
Florida State coaches, players and staff had to be away from the immediate families during the Thanksgiving Holiday as they were all in Colorado for the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational but that doesn’t mean they didn’t a chance to still be with their basketball family and get some home-cooked food on the holiday. FSU arrived in Colorado on Nov. 26 and spent the night in Denver before enjoying the Thanksgiving Holiday at the family home of graduate assistant coach Joanna Reitz. Following a delicious home-cooked meal, the `Noles boarded the team bus for the hour-long drive to Fort Collins on Thursday afternoon.
New-Look Starting Five
Through the first four games of the season, head coach Sue Semrau had utilized the same starting lineup in a 4-0 run to start the year. But after a disappointing loss to rival and underdog Florida, Semrau elected to start junior Angel Gray and sophomore Christian Hunnicutt on the wings instead of senior captains Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour against Southeast Missouri State. The Seminoles responded with their best defensive effort of the season holding the Redhawks to just 16.9-percent shooting from the field. That performance has prompted Semrau to continue to give Gray and Hunnicutt the nod for four-straight contests.
Best Defensive Performance of the Season
Bouncing back after a poor showing against the University of Florida, the FSU defense did its job in the win against Southeast Missouri State. The mere 31 points allowed by the Seminoles against the Redhawks was the lowest point total scored by an FSU opponent since the ‘Noles held Savannah State to just 28 points in a 107-28 romp on Nov. 23, 2003. The fewest amount of points that FSU has ever allowed in a game was 26 when the Clemson Tigers posted that many in an 80-26 loss during the 1993-94 season.
Just 16.9 Percent!
Southeast Missouri State only scored 31 points against Florida State because of defensive pressure that led to the Redhawks shooting from 16.9 percent from the field. That shooting averaging was the lowest allowed by the Seminoles since they held the University of Central Florida to just 20 percent shooting on November 28, 2000. FSU won that game 68-37.
FSU Concludes Hectic Schedule to Start Season
The Seminoles’ 2008-09 schedule not only features talented programs from throughout the country, it also has kept FSU very busy to begin the year. Starting with the home opener and ending with last weekend’s loss to Valparaiso at the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., the Seminoles played a total of seven games in a span of 14 days. FSU now gets a bit of a break as the Seminoles only have three games in the next two-and-a-half weeks but will have final exams during that span.
Monroe Leads FSU in Two Different Categories
Junior Jacinta Monroe currently leads the team in scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg). Monroe has shown she is capable of earning a double-double each time she steps on to the floor. In the loss to the University of Florida, Monroe registered the 11th double-double of her career and third of the season with team-highs in points (18) and rebounds (10). She turned in five double-doubles as a freshman and had three last season during her junior campaign. Monroe had a game-high 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the win over Southeast Missouri State. Against Murray State and Valparaiso in Colorado, Monroe had her least-productive two-game span this season but still registered a combined 23 points and 10 rebounds in those ballgames. She bounced back to score a team-high 18 points in the win over Penn State.
Twin Towers on the Inside
The Seminoles have a big front line of post players with 6-foot-4 Jacinta Monroe and 6-foot-4 Cierra Bravard and the two have carried the team so far this year. In fact, the tall tandem is currently averaging a combined 29.3 points per game. In the Southeast Missouri State game, Monroe and Bravard combined for 31 points, which was exactly half of the Seminoles’ total offensive output. The two also combined for 10 rebounds in that blowout victory. Against Penn State, both players combined for 33 points of FSU’s total of 70.
Gray and Hunnicutt Earn First Starts of Season
Junior Angel Gray and sophomore Christian Hunnicutt were awarded the starting nod over seniors Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour in FSU’s victory over Southeast Missouri State and it marked the first time this season that the two were penciled into the starting five. The two didn’t disappoint either. Gray, who started four games as a sophomore a season ago, posted four points, five rebounds, one assist and two steals during her most minutes of the season. After starting in seven games as a true freshman last year, Hunnicutt’s first start as a sophomore led to a team-high 29 minutes of play against the Redhawks. Hunnicutt capitalized on this opportunity by achieving five points, career highs in assists (six) and rebounds (nine), one block and one steal.
Bravard Turning Heads in First Season
True freshman Cierra Bravard is already making a strong case to be considered one of the top freshmen in the entire country this year. So far this season, the Sandusky, Ohio, native is second on the team at 13.3 points per game, second on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game, and is one of just two players to start all eight games this year. She is doing all this in just 17.4 minutes per contest. On Nov. 20 against the College of Charleston, Bravard had the best game of her young career as she scored a game- and career-high 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting while grabbing a team second-best eight rebounds.
Spreading the Minutes
Florida State has some serious depth on the team this season. Nine of FSU’s 10 players are averaging double-digit minutes with senior Mara Freshour leading the way at 28.6 minutes per game. Six Seminoles are currently averaging at least 19 minutes or more per game this season.
Florida State follows up its school-record fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a schedule that gives the Seminoles the opportunity to play 15 teams that participated in the postseason last year, including 10 NCAA Tournament teams.
The Seminoles play teams from 13 different conferences including the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East and Pac-10.
The non-conference schedule is highlighted by home games vs. rival Florida, Penn State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Texas A&M, fresh off last year’s Elite Eight appearance – its best in school history.
FSU plays in a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, just before Christmas where the Seminoles will face top-ranked Connecticut.
The Seminoles will face LSU for the third-straight year with a meeting in Baton Rouge, La., on Dec. 28.
This is the Team
This year’s squad is one of FSU’s most experienced as the Seminoles return 83 percent of its scoring and 89 percent of its rebounding from a year ago. The four newcomers make up the eighth-ranked recruiting class in the country. All four incoming freshman have earned All-America honors with center Cierra Bravard ranked as the No. 7 player in the country and wing Chasity Clayton was rated 32nd in the nation.
Antionette Howard Leaves Team
Sophomore forward Antionette Howard has decided to not play basketball at FSU and has left the team. She will finish the academic semester at Florida State.
FSU Picked to Finish Fifth in the ACC
Florida State has been picked to finish fifth this season in the very competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC Preseason Poll was selected by the newly-formed Blue Ribbon Panel, which consists of national and local media members as well as school representatives.
2008-09 ACC Preseason Poll
1. North Carolina (15 first place votes)
2. Maryland (11 first place votes)
3. Duke (14 first place votes)
4. Virginia (two first place votes)
5. Florida State
6. Georgia Tech
7. Boston College
8. NC State
10. Virginia Tech
12. Wake Forest
Florida State Women’s Basketball Program Signs Talented 2009 Prospect
A year after signing the best recruiting class in the history of the program, the Florida State women’s basketball staff has picked up right where it left off. FSU head coach Sue Semrau announced Tuesday the signing of 6-foot-3 forward Chelsea Davis, a talented post player from Middletown, Delaware, to a national letter of intent.
Davis has been one of the top girl’s high school basketball players in the entire northeast since she burst onto the scene two years ago. She will enter her senior season as a three-year starter and has recorded 1,257 career points and 744 career rebounds. She averaged 21.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as a junior on her way to leading the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks per game.
A three-time all-state honoree, including first team honors in each of the last two seasons and honorable mention honors as a freshman, Davis has earned first team all-conference honors the last three seasons and has also been named the MVP of her team three straight years.
Davis is ranked as the 35th-best post-player prospect in the entire country, according to Hoopgurlz.