Jan. 18, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Propelled by a strong defense that featured a record-setting night by junior forward Jacinta Monroe, the Florida State women’s basketball team defeated No. 24 Georgia Tech 59-49 Sunday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Monroe’s school-record nine blocks were the highlight of an FSU defensive performance that forced the Yellow Jackets to commit a season-high 27 turnovers and shoot a season-low 33.9-percent from the field.
With the win, the Seminoles (16-4, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) have now won seven-straight ballgames this season and are perfect in conference play. The last time that FSU reeled off this many victories in a row happened during the 2004-05 season and the only other time in program history that the team started 4-0 in conference play occurred during the 2006-07 campaign.
The Seminoles led by as many as eight points through the first 14 minutes of the second half against the Yellow Jackets (13-4, 1-2), but gave up their lead at the game’s 5:52 mark when Georgia Tech guard Jacqua Williams hit a 3-pointer to put her squad up 46-45.
But as a home crowd of nearly 3,000 fans looked on, the Seminoles answered in a big way. Sparked by Monroe’s record ninth block of the game with 5:15 left to play, FSU went on a 14-4 run to close out the game.
“I saw a little heart come out,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “I think they got a little mad when they relinquished the lead on that one possession. I thought they came out with the same kind of grit that got us the lead and for us to continue to push through these types of games and not let up whatsoever makes me really, really proud.”
Monroe finished the night with a staggering stat-line that put her within one block of securing her first-career triple-double. The 6-foot-4 post-player from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. registered team-highs in both points (15) and rebounds (10) to go along with her staggering number of blocks.
As it stands, her double-double against the Yellow Jackets was her third in as many games and sixth of the season. Monroe now has 14 career double-doubles to her credit while she continues to climb the ladder in her quest to become the program’s all-time blocks leader.
With her nine blocks Sunday night, Monroe is now just 15 shy of tying former Seminole Brooke Wycoff’s all-time record of 209 in a career.
In addition to Monroe, point guard Courtney Ward had a terrific night for the Seminoles.
The sophomore from Mobile, Ala. dished out a career-high nine assists to go along with 12 points and four rebounds. She also tied her career-best with four steals.
“You just look at the build of these two,” Semrau said, referencing Monroe and Ward, “and you’ve got to be really proud. They are two of the most slender that we have and the way that they’ve been working out in the weight room you can see they weren’t going to be pushed around tonight.”
Senior guard Mara Freshour also added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Seminoles in a team-high 38 minutes. Junior forward Alysha Harvin scored seven points but all of her scoring came in the first half after she suffered a mild concussion and was held out of the rest of the game after halftime. She is expected to be fine in time for FSU’s next contest.
For the game, FSU shot just 40.7-percent from the field and just 47.8-percent from the free-throw line. But on a night when Monroe was seemingly all over the court blocking shots, it was the defense and ability of the Seminole players to grab rebounds that earned the victory.
In addition to forcing the most Georgia Tech turnovers of the year, FSU also won the rebounding battle 41-36.
Alex Montgomery led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Florida State will now have a bit of a break from their hectic schedule as their next game isn’t until Friday when they play in Charlottesville, Va. against the University of Virginia. Tip-off for that conference matchup is slated for 7 p.m.