March 1, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – There’s a first time for everything and Sunday afternoon at Wake Forest, the No. 11 Florida State women’s basketball team earned the first ever Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in school history by defeating the Demon Deacons 58-47.
The Seminoles (24-6, 12-2 ACC) also accomplished another program first. By defeating Wake Forest (18-10, 5-9), FSU finished undefeated on the road this season with a staggering mark of 10-0 in opponents’ home gyms.
The victory also ties head coach Sue Semrau’s career high for wins in a season with 24.
“It’s a little ironic that Wendy Hampton, who was on my first team (at FSU), was here in the crowd tonight,” Semrau said. “And I brought her into the locker room afterwards and asked her, `Did you ever think you’d see this?’ And she said, `No way.’ I’ll tell you, we have come a long way and there’s just been a lot of great people and players that have had the courage to say they want to go and do something special.
“And these players got the benefit from that.”
That benefit is the best regular-season in program history but the Seminoles are far from being done. Florida State will now take a No. 2 seed into the ACC Tournament later this week and will face the winner of the Boston College-Miami game.
FSU’s matchup with either one of these two programs will tip off at 6 p.m. on Friday in Greensboro, N.C. The Seminoles are 2-0 against Miami this season and 1-0 against Boston College.
“I think our kids are really focused on what they can do in the tournament,” Semrau said. “They know how we are going to get prepared in this week of practice and that is getting better at doing all of the little things.”
And Sunday’s win helps propel the Seminoles into the conference tournament after a disappointing loss to No. 21 Virginia earlier in the week.
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe only mustered six points in that loss to the Cavaliers but bounced back in a big way against the Demon Deacons. The Fort Lauderdale native set the tone on both ends as posted the eighth double-double of the season and 16th of her career with game-highs in both points (21) and rebounds (10).
She also added two blocks.
Playing in her final regular-season game as a Seminole, senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain contributed to the winning effort with 11 points and tied her career high with nine rebounds.
Fellow senior Mara Freshour also added nine points, three assists and a game-high five steals.
“We are really excited about we have done,” Monroe said. “But we know that we have to keep the ball rolling. We don’t want to stop here.”
For the game, FSU shot 35.3 percent from the field and 57.6 percent from the free-throw line. The Seminoles outrebounded Wake Forest 45-34.
FSU lead 27-20 at halftime.