Nov. 22, 2004
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior guard Linnea Liljestrand scored 20 points off of the bench to lead the Florida State women’s basketball team to a 72-62 win over Florida Monday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Seminoles, now 2-0, led the final 37:15 of the game in their first win over the Gators (0-1) since December 15, 1991 – snapping a 16-game UF win streak.
“We’re extremely excited to beat a very good Florida team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It’s been a long time coming for us and I’m so proud of our team. After all we’ve been through, we’ve really come together in a special way. It’s early and everybody’s going to get better. We’re going to get a lot better but I’m just really proud of our effort, especially on the boards with our size. It’s a great feeling for us to break through a barrier that we’ve been trying to break through for some time.”
The final score was not indicative of the type of game it was. The Seminoles had control much of the game and were leading by as many as 24 at 61-37 with under nine minutes to play before Florida fouled down the stretch and the Tribe struggled from the free throw line. UF pulled to within seven points at 63-56 with 1:20 remaining but the Tribe went 7-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final 1:13 to earn the victory.
A second half 55 percent shooting effort from the field paced the Seminoles, who led 36-25 at the half, in the final 20 minutes. FSU opened the second half strong with a 15-5 run to go up 21 with 13 minutes on the clock and continued its solid defense down the stretch.
Junior wing Ganiyat Adeduntan recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to help FSU outrebound UF 41-36. Sophomore Alicia Gladden chipped in 12 points, her second straight game in double figures, and had a career-high six steals.
The Gators scored quickly in the first half with a bucket 10 seconds into the ball game but then the Seminoles held them scoreless for the game’s next five minutes while going on a 9-0 run themselves. Six different Seminoles combined for FSU’s first 18 points but it was Liljestrand who got hot. FSU led 13-4 when Liljestrand scored 11 of the squad’s next 13 points and the Seminoles had a 27-16 lead with 7:02 left in the half. A bucket by Holly Johnson and a free throw by Nikki Anthony gave FSU its largest lead at 30-16 with 5:52 on the clock. The Gators responded with eight unanswered points, including two of their four first half three-pointers, to pull within six at 30-24 – their closest margin since the 15:53 mark – with 2:44 left. The Seminoles closed out the half on a 6-1 run for the 11-point halftime advantage. Eight different Seminoles scored in the first half with Liljestrand leading the way with 15. FSU had a 25-17 rebounding advantage and had five steals.
FSU will host Eastern Kentucky, Appalachian State and Miami Ohio this weekend in the 8th annual Seminole Classic.