Nov. 10, 2007
FT MYERS, Fla. –
On a historic night for Florida Gulf Coast University, it was the Florida State women’s basketball team that was doing the celebrating. The Seminoles put a damper on the Eagles’ Division I debut as they routed the hosts 93-53 on Friday (November 9) at Alico Arena.
Florida State won its 14th season opener in a row as it started the year at 1-0. Florida Gulf Coast drops to 0-1 to start its first season at the Division I level. The Eagles were the Division II runner-up last season.
The 93 points matches the Seminoles’ total in last year’s season opener against UAB. It’s the second-largest opening-game victory – trailing a 107-28 win over Savannah State on November 23, 2003. In addition, it’s the Seminoles’ widest margin of victory since an 84-34 thumping of Fordham last season.
Leading the way for the Seminoles was sophomore forward Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) as she tied a career-high of 23 points that she set in the season opener last year. Having nearly as good a debut was rookie Antionette Howard (Snellville, Ga.) as she scored 17 points. Also reaching double figures was guard Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) with 18 points and center Britany Miller (Tallapoosa, Ga.) added 11.
Davis-Cain nearly had her first career double-double as she led the way on the boards with a career-high nine rebounds. FSU out-rebounded Florida Gulf Coast 48-22 as five different players had five or more rebounds, including Howard and Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) at six. All 10 players on the roster scored at least two points. Shante Williams produced seven assists with only one turnover.
Florida State shot 70.8 percent in the second half from the floor to shoot 56.7 percent (34-of-60) for the night. The Seminoles hit an impressive 87.5 percent (21-of-24) at the free throw line, which is higher than any game last season.
The Seminoles got off to a fast start, scoring the first six points of the game before the hosts got on the board. A Davis-Cain jumper at the 15:59 mark gave FSU its first 10-point lead (12-2). The Eagles would get the margin back under double digits, but a three-point play by Monroe at the 10:05 mark – part of stretch of seven-straight points by the sophomore – pushed the lead to double digits for good (21-9).
Midway through the first half, the game became a battle of free throws as neither team would make a field goal from the 8:25 mark (Monroe jumper) to 5:48 on a three-point play by FGCU’s Ashley Haegle. During the time the two teams combined to make 16 free throws. Florida State ended the half on a 9-0 run over the last 2:48 of the stanza to take a 46-24 lead into the locker room.
The Seminoles tough defense allowed them to record a 47.2 percent (17-of-36) to 25.0 percent (7-of-28) advantage in shooting percentage. Florida State was an impressive 11-of-12 from the free line. A distinct height advantage produced a 29-13 rebounding edge.
Monroe led all scorers with 15 points in the first 20 minutes while Howard (12) and Davis-Cain (11) also reached double figures. Davis-Cain pulled in seven rebounds and Howard added six more. Shante Williams dished out three assists.
Florida State continued to stretch the margin in the second half. The Seminoles held Florida Gulf Coast without a point for a four minute stretch during the middle of the second stanza. During that stretch, the lead grew to 36 (74-36) and first reached 30 points on a Davis-Cain three pointer at the 8:26 mark.
The Seminoles play their home opener on Sunday (November 11) at 2 p.m. against North Florida. The game can be heard on 100.7 FM. Links to the radio broadcast the ACC Select feed can be found at www.seminoles.com.