Nov. 24, 2003
Fresh off its 107-28 win over Savannah State on Sunday, the Florida State women’s basketball team will face the No. 1-ranked Connecticut Huskies in Hartford on Tuesday, November 25th at 7 p.m. The contest will be broadcast live in the Tallahassee area on Newsradio WFLA-AM 1270 and can also be heard via the Internet on www.seminoles.com.
Connecticut, the defending national champions and the nation’s consensus No. 1 team, also enters Tuesday’s game with a 1-0 record, having earned a 95-46 victory over Western Michigan on Sunday. The game will be just the second meeting between the Seminoles and Huskies. UConn defeated Florida State 74-55 last season on Dec. 30th in Tallahassee.
“I feel great about heading up to Connecticut,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity for us early in the year to go up and probably be in the most hostile environment that we’ll ever be throughout the course of the season. And if we can do that early, we can prepare ourselves for the rest of the year.
“It’s so much excitement for our players,” Semrau continued. “Not only do we have an opportunity to go up against the No. 1 team in the country but the No. 1 team in the country who happens to be defending national champions and returns all five starters. We go to their place, in that atmosphere and we’re not going in with any trepidation. We are going in to hit it head on and that’s important for us to get where we want to go in our program. With what’s going on at Florida State, if we’ve want to be the best, we have to play the best.”
The Seminoles’ 79-point victory over Savannah State ranks second all-time at Florida State in terms of margin of victory. More importantly, holding an opponent to 28 points is FSU’s best defensive effort, not only in the Sue Semrau era (since 1997-98), but also since holding West Florida to just 16 points in an 84-point win back in the 1975-76 season. Defense is a cornerstone of the FSU program and the Seminoles will stick to that game plan no matter who the opponent is.
“We are going up to UConn with the attitude that, ‘You know what, we’re going to step up and we’re going to give you our best shot. We’re not going to lose, you’re going to have to beat us.'” Semrau said. “With our defense, we are going to be solid and we are going to be ready to play.”
The Connecticut game will be the first of eight contests that FSU will play against teams ranked in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll. However, the Seminoles are expecting an atmosphere like none they have seen since playing at Iowa State in front of 12,000 fans in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. UConn drew 10,167 fans in their season-opener on Sunday.
“It’s always exciting to go into an atmosphere like we are going to see at UConn,” senior co-captain Tasheika Allen said. “We played them last year and it was a really fun game. They are a really good team and we have been working really hard to prepare ourselves to play them.”
GAME TWO Florida State (1-0) at No. 1 Connecticut (1-0) Tuesday, November 25 * 7 p.m. Hartford Civic Center Hartford, CT * WFLA Radio * www.seminoles.com
Florida State and Connecticut meet for the second time in as many years.
The Seminoles fell 74-55 on Dec. 30th in the only meeting between the two programs.
Tuesday’s game will mark the fifth time Florida State has faced a No. 1-ranked team. Both teams enter Tuesday’s game having won their home-openers in convincing fashion on Sunday.
FLORIDA STATE PROBABLE STARTERS G 22 Shante Williams 7.0 ppg, 7.0 apg G 2 LaQuinta Neely 9.0 ppg, 6.0 apg G 33 Tasheika Allen 23.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg C 5 Trinetta Moore 11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg F 44 Lauren Bradley 2.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
CONNECTICUT PROBABLE STARTERS G 43 Ann Strother 10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg G 5 Maria Conlon 6.0 ppg, 6.0 apg C 31 Jessica Moore 18.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg G/F 3 Diana Taurasi 26.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 7.0 apg G/F 33 Barbara Turner 6.0 ppg, 7.0 apg
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING With one game in the books, here's how the Seminoles and Huskies compare... FSU PER GAME UCONN 107.0 POINTS 95.0 .562 FG% .635 .417 3FG% .529 .645 FT% .667 55.0 REBOUNDS 37.0 25.0 ASSISTS 34.0 17.0 TURNOVERS 12.0 4.0 BLOCKS 4.0 19.0 STEALS 14.0
FLORIDA STATE VS. THE BIG EAST
Tuesday’s contest will be the second meeting between Florida State and Connecticut, a member of the Big East Conference. FSU is 31-17 all-time vs. current members of the Big East Conference, including 0-1 vs. UConn. Sue Semrau is 2-1 vs. the Big East with victories that include a 64-56 win over St. John’s at the Sun & Fun Classic on December 29, 1999 and a 77-57 win over Virginia Tech at the Seminole Classic on Nov. 26, 2000.
LAST YEAR VS. UCONN
Tasheika Allen led FSU with 18 points and Trinetta Moore had a team-high seven rebounds but the Seminoles shot just 34 percent and fell 74-55 to then No. 2 Connecticut on December 30th at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. UConn shot 43 percent and outrebounded FSU 49-36. The Huskies committed 11 turnovers in the first half, and even trailed the Seminoles for a 4-minute stretch in the first half, but they responded to a 17-13 deficit with a 17-2 run. Ann Strother made two free throws to tie it at 17, and Diana Taurasi followed with a layup to put the Huskies ahead for good. The Huskies had a 39-26 advantage, but outscored FSU by just six points in the second half.
FSU VS. NO. 1
With it being just the second game of the season, UConn will be the first ranked opponent the Seminoles will face this season and the Huskies just happen to be No. 1. The last time FSU defeated a Top 5 opponent was February 8, 2001 when the Seminoles topped No. 4 Duke, 71-69, in Durham which is also the last time FSU has beaten a ranked foe. Tuesday’s game will mark the second time the Seminoles have faced a No. 1 team in the Sue Semrau era, as Duke was No. 1 last season when FSU faced them on January 26th, but the sixth time in Seminole women’s basketball history. Overall, FSU is 0-5 (since 1980-81) vs. the nation’s No. 1 team. Here’s a look:
February 24, 1984 vs. #1 Texas, 43-89 (L) December 8, 1990 vs. #1 Virginia, 72-92 (L) January 3, 1992 vs. #1 Virginia, 60-87 (L) February 5, 1992 vs. #1 Maryland, 70-101 (L) January 26, 2003 vs. #1 Duke, 81-63 (L)
ONLY THE BEGINNING
Beginning with UConn, Florida State will face five teams, including three in the Top 10, that are ranked in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
ALLEN VS. TOP TEN TEAMS
Tasheika Allen definitely brings her “A” game when FSU plays the nation’s top talent. Last season in five meetings vs. Top 10 teams, Allen averaged 17.2 points per game, including 18 points vs. UConn.
ON THE ROAD
With its win over Savannah State on Sunday, FSU is now 22-8 in season-openers and 20-4 in home openers since 1980-81. Since 1980-81, FSU’s record in the first “away” games (not counting neutral sites) of the season is 7-16, including a 2-4 mark under Sue Semrau.