March 6, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Different score, same result. For the second year in a row, the Florida State women’s basketball team met Wake Forest in the first round of Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. While the Seminoles didn’t win by the comfortable margin they had in 2007, they moved on to the quarterfinals with the 57-52 triumph over the Demon Deacons on Thursday (March 6) at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Seminole ran their winning streak over Wake Forest to 11 games as they improved to 18-12. Wake Forest dropped to 15-15. Florida State moves on to play third-seeded and 11th-ranked Duke on Friday at 8 p.m.
“We just hung on,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau. “Defensively I thought we did a great job and offensively we didn’t get a lot going tonight, but it was enough to get it done.”
Leading all scorers with 17 points – her high in an ACC Tournament game – was guard Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) who got 14 of her points in the second half. Also reaching double digits was senior Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) with 12 points – also a tournament best – and Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Four different players had two or more assists – led by Davis-Cain and Williams at three – while Davis-Cain was one of three players with two steals. Monroe had a pair of blocks to take over the number two spot in school history with 136 blocks.
“In the first half I thought we were playing kind of slow,” Davis-Cain said. “We went into the locker room and said we need to get after it like it’s our last game. Then in the second half as a captain I just had to put my team on my back and play as hard as I could.”
After a rough first half of shooting from the field, Florida State improved to 44.4 percent in the second half for an overall advantage of 38.5 percent (20-of-52) to 35.8 percent (19-of-53) for Wake Forest. FSU also had a better second 20 minutes on the glass as they out-rebounded the Demon Deacons 20-to-15 for a 36-to-35 margin for the evening.
The offense was not very prevalent during the opening minutes of the game as the Seminoles had just a 6-1 at the 15:51 mark of the first half. Wake Forest scored the next two baskets, but wouldn’t get on the board for another three minutes as FSU took an 11-5 lead on a Davis-Cain three pointer.
FSU went three and half minutes without a basket itself but it played good defense and only limited the Demon Deacons to only two points. A Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) three pointer at the 7:45 mark broke the drought and staked the Seminoles to a 16-9 advantage. The Seminoles’ defense didn’t hold up during another offensive dry spell as Wake Forest went on a 10-2 run to capture a 24-22 lead that it would take into the half.
Only two Seminoles made more than one basket in the first half with Monroe putting in seven to go along with a team-best four rebounds. Williams contributed a pair of baskets while Davis-Cain had three assists and three rebounds.
Neither team shot the ball well with Wake Forest holding a 33.3 percent (7-of-21) to 32 percent (8-of-25) lead. Both teams also missed the mark at the free throw line as WFU was 66.7 percent (8-of-12) and FSU hit just 37.7 percent (3-of-8) The Demon Deacons also had a 20-16 margin in rebounds. FSU got 10 points off 13 WFU turnovers, but committed 10 miscues itself.
“I thought we got great post touches,” Semrau said of the second half. “When we got the ball into the post I thought we did a better job. We’ve really had been nonexistent in there lately and I thought Jacinta Monroe played a good game for us in there.”
Unlike the start to the first half, the beginning of the second 20 minutes started with an offensive flurry. There were three lead changes and two ties in the first five minutes of the half. The Seminoles held Wake Forest scoreless for two and half minutes to ignite a 7-0 run to take a 37-31 advantage at the 13:47 mark on a Williams’ jumper.
Free throws by Williams and Davis-Cain pushed the margin to nine (46-37) then Alysha Harvin (Dania, Fla.) hit two from the stripe and a turnaround jumper to push the lead to double digits for the first time at 52-41 with 6:22 to play. The FSU defense held Wake Forest to without a basket for two and a half minutes.
The lead was back to 11 (54-43) with 3:46 to play on a Williams jumper. The Demon Deacons chipped away and got the deficit down to six, 54-48, but Davis-Cain answered with a jumper that push the margin back to eight and that proved to be too big of a lead for WFU to overcome.
The Seminoles and Blue Devils tip off at 8 p.m. The game can be heard on 100.7 FM, XM Channel 192, and Seminoles.com. It can also be seen on ACC Select. A replay of the Thursday’s game can be seen on ACC Select on Demand.