January 26, 2005 - by
No. 19/21 Seminoles Head To Miami For Thursday Night Contest

Jan. 26, 2005

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The No. 19/21-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team will head south for a 7 p.m. tilt with Miami on Thursday, January 27th at 7 p.m. It will be the second meeting of the season between the Seminoles (18-2, 5-1 ACC) and the Hurricanes (8-10, 0-5).

“I think this is going to a huge game because it’s such a rivalry,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It’s Florida State-Miami and anytime you play that game there’s something special, there’s something different. We’ve only played them the one time in my tenure so we’ve never played down there (in her tenure) so they’re going to be hungry and after us. We are really going to lock in and focus on what we need to do to go down and play down there.”

The Tribe was Miami’s first league opponent as FSU’s 65-56 win on January 9th marked the first ACC women’s basketball game for the Hurricanes. Thursday’s game will be the 26th game overall between the Seminoles and the Hurricanes and FSU has a 19-6 advantage. The series dates back to the 1974-75 season. FSU has won five straight over the `Canes but before this season, the two teams last met 12 years ago. FSU and Miami have had one common non-conference opponent this season in the University of Montana. The Hurricanes topped the Lady Grizzlies, 55-49, in Miami on December 20th while the Seminoles fell at Montana, 60-49, on December 29th.

The Seminoles have won five straight ACC games, including three consecutive overtime victories over ranked foes. FSU is now atop the ACC standing with its only blemish on its 5-1 ACC record a one-point loss to Georgia Tech in the ACC opener. FSU is now ranked in both national polls with a No. 21 showing in the Associated Press poll and the No. 19 spot in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. FSU’s current five-game win streak started with its win over Miami back on January 16th. When the Seminoles and `Canes meet on Thursday it will mark the first time two league schools will have faced one another twice this season. In fact, the Tribe still has four league schools to face for the first (and only) time.

Thursday’s Miami game is the final regular-season game FSU will play against an in-state opponent. FSU is already 4-0 vs. Florida team’s this season with wins over Florida, FAMU, FAU and Miami. Last year, FSU went 2-1 vs. in-state opponents. Overall, FSU is 147-71 all-time vs. teams from the state of Florida (four-year schools).

With a win at Miami, the Seminoles could record their best ACC start as FSU’s 5-1 ACC record matches the program’s best league start. In 2002-03, FSU started 5-1 on its way to a 7-2 record and then went 1-6 in its final seven league games to finish even at 8-8. FSU’s best ACC record is 9-7 back in 2000-01. That year, the Tribe went 4-4 in the first round and then rebounded with a 5-3 finish. FSU’s five straight ACC wins also ties a school record. The 2000-01 team also had five straight ACC wins.

“We talk about really paying attention to detail everyday and the little things and getting better,” Semrau said. “That’s where our focus will be everyday on the practice court. We haven’t arrived yet. We’re not as good as we can be, so that’s what we talk about is not the potential but really achieving what we think we can accomplish as a group together.”

2004-05 Record 18-2, 5-1 ACC
2003-04 Final Record 15-15
Head Coach Sue Semrau/8th Season
School Record 110-112
Career Record Same
Starters Returning/Lost 2*/3
Conference Atlantic Coast
*Neely was a starter in 2003-04 before injuring knee

2004-05 Record 8-10, 0-5 ACC
2003-04 Final Record 22-7
Head Coach Ferne Labati/17th Season
School Record 298-189
Career Record 434-310/27th Season
Starters Returning/Lost 3/2
Conference Atlantic Coast

Florida State is now ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls. The Tribe broke into the AP poll at No. 21 on Monday, January 24th - making its first appearance in the poll since December 11, 1991. FSU was pegged the nation's No. 24 team in the January 18th USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll which was the first time FSU has been ranked since the December 10, 2001 Coaches Poll when the Seminoles were No. 25. FSU has now moved up to No. 19 in the Coaches Poll - they're highest ever ranking in the Coaches Poll. For a complete listing of FSU in the national rankings all-time, see page 4.

With a win at Miami, the Seminoles could record their best ACC start as FSU's 5-1 ACC record matches the program's best league start. In 2002-03, FSU started 5-1 on its way to a 7-2 record and then went 1-6 in its final seven league games to finish even at 8-8. FSU's best ACC record is 9-7 back in 2000-01. That year, the Tribe went 4-4 in the first round and then rebounded with a 5-3 finish. FSU's five straight ACC wins also ties a school record. The 2000-01 team also had five straight ACC wins.

The ACC is ranked first in conference RPI by Collegiate Basketball News. The SEC is second on that list. FSU's RPI is now No. 16 which is third best in the league. The ACC has the nation's best non-conference record 115-26 for a winning percentage of .816.

The Virginia Tech game was the first of two straight road ACC games for the Seminoles. In fact, the Tribe will play seven of its final 10 regular-season games on the road, including a nonconference tilt at Lipscomb on Feb. 3rd.

FSU's 18 wins is the second most wins Florida State has produced under Sue Semrau. In 2000-01, she led FSU to a 19-12 record - her most wins and the program's most wins since 1990-91. In 2002-03, the Tribe went 17-13.

Prior to Semrau's arrival in 1997-98, Florida State had not recorded double-digit wins in four straight seasons. Under Semrau's direction, FSU has had double digit wins in six straight seasons, including this year. Onlyone other time in the history of the program has that happened, from 1978-79 to 1983-84.

Three straight overtime games, three straight career performances. Against Maryland, Roneeka Hodges had a career-high 39 points. In the UNC win, it was Ganiyat Adeduntan with a career-high 26 points. Alicia Gladden joined the party with a career-high 24 points in the double OT win at Virginia Tech. Gladden actually had her career-high in reguation with 19 points.

Roneeka Hodges' 24.3 points per game in ACC action only ranks first in the league. She recorded her eighth game of 20 or more points, and fourth straight, when she scored 24 in the win at Va. Tech. Only three other players in the ACC have more 20+ games than Hodges in Miami's Tamara James (11), Duke's Monique Curry (9) and Maryland's Shay Doron (9). She has led the team in scoring in five of the last six straight games and 13 games overall.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday that Florida State's Ganiyat Adeduntan was named this week's Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week, marking the second straight week a Seminole has earned the award.
Adeduntan, a junior forward had the game of her career as Florida State defeated North Carolina 79-73 in overtime. The Athens, Ga., native scored a career-high 26 points to lead all players and added a team-high nine rebounds. She also led the team with a career-high five assists.
From the floor, Adeduntan was 10-for-16 (.625) including a 3-for-4 (.750) mark from behind the three-point arc and a 3-for-4 mark from the free throw line. In her 37 minutes of play, Adeduntan had no turnovers and has helped the Seminoles establish a program-best 18-2 record overall.

This season marks the third time FSU has had three overtime games in one season but the first time the Seminoles have won all three contests. The last time FSU had three overtime games in a single season was 1991-92 when the Tribe went 2-1. This season marks just the fifth time FSU has had two or more overtime games in a single season but the first time EVER the Tribe has had back-to-back overtime contests much less three of them! Overall, FSU is now 17-9 in overtime games.

Counting the three this season, FSU has now had nine overtime games since Sue Semrau's arrival in 1997-98. The Tribe is 5-4 in those games. Three of those games saw multiple OTs.

The Seminoles have come up big in each of the overtime periods they've played this year. Combined, FSU has shot .630 (17-27) from the field, .667 (4-6) from three-point range and .684 (13-19) from the free throw line in the overtime periods - that's 20 minutes worth of extra action!

Sophomore defensive specialist Alicia Gladden recorded a career-high seven steals in the win over Miami (FL). She actually ranks second for the league best as she joins six other ACC players who have grabbed an seven steals in a game. She doesn't, however, share the top spot in the league for steals per game. Gladden stands all alone at number one in the ACC for steals per game at 3.5. Her 70 steals is at least 15 more than any other player in the league. The next best average is 3.18 by Miami's Yalonda McCormick who was held to just one steal in the game vs. FSU.

With 70 steals already, Alicia Gladden ranks seventh on FSU's Top 10 list for steals in a single season. The all-time record is 96 steals in 27 games by Tia Paschal in 1992-93.

Entering the week, Alicia Gladden's 70 steals is the fourth most steals by a Division I player this season. She ranks 14th nationally in steals per game at 3.5. Roneeka Hodges 19.5 points per game ranks tied for 19th with Maryland's Shay Doron as Miami's Tamara James' 22.6 ppg is second in the nation.

Junior guard LaQuinta Neely, who returned to action at Clemson after a five-game layoff, scored a season-high 10 points in the double OT win at Va. Tech including a driving lay in at 0:04 to force a second OT. She also grabbed a season-high nine boards and had six assists in the win at Virginia Tech. The last time Neely scored double figures was when she scored 14 vs. Virginia on February 23, 2003.

Because she does it so quietly, it's hard to notice but Alicia Gladden has also been pretty hot as of late. The sophomore has managed double figures in 10 of the last 12 games and has had six or more rebounds in nine of those games. In ACC action, she is averaging 14.3 points (14th in ACC).

FSU had a season-high 20 assists in the Virginia Tech game. The previous season-high was 19 assists against both Miami Ohio and FAMU. The Seminoles have had double digit assists in 16 games overall, including the last 10 straight games.

With 20 assists to 17 turnovers, the Virginia Tech game marks the fourth time this season, FSU has recorded more assists than turnovers in a game. In the overtime win vs. No. 15 Maryland, FSU had 16 assists and 12 turnovers. At New Orleans, the Tribe turned in 15 assists while recording a season-low 11 turnovers. In the Miami Ohio game, it was 19 to 14. The 11 mishaps at New Orleans was the fewest turnovers FSU has had in a game since recording last year's season low of nine in the win vs. Wake Forest on February 16th. FSU had 11 or fewer turnovers in a game just twice last year.

In each of the last two straight games, FSU has had two players score 20+ points and the common denominator is Roneeka Hodges. In the UNC win, Ganiyat Adeduntan had a career-high 26 points while Hodges added 23. In the Virginia Tech win, Alicia Gladden has a career-high 24 points while Hodges matched her with 24 of her own. Hodges has had eight 20+ scoring games this season, including four straight.

Talk about a team-effort. Since the last Miami game and over the last four games ...
...Roneeka Hodges is averaging 27.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and has made a team-high 10 three-pointers - one-third of her total three pointers this season!
...Holly Johnson has gone 20-for-24 from the free throw line and averaged 10.8 ppg in a team-high 42.8 minutes per game.
...Alicia Gladden has gone 11-for-12 (92%) from the free throw line and 62 percent from the field.
...Ganiyat Adeduntan has averaged a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game.
...Linnea Liljestrand has hit 10 shots - nine of them have been three-pointers.

The Seminoles have recorded 102 three-pointers this season which is already more than in each of the past two seasons and as many or more than in 12 of the previous 16 seasons. Last year, FSU hit 95 treys and just 84 the year before. The most three-pointers an FSU team has made in a single season is 135 back in 2001-02. The fewest is 32 back in 1991-92.

FSU and Virginia Tech were tied at 29-29 marking the second straight game the Tribe has been tied at halftime. FSU and UNC were tied at 37 apiece in last Thursday's game, marking the first time the Tribe has been tied at halftime with its opponent this season. In the previous 18 games, FSU has led at hafltime in 12 contests and is 12-0 in those games.

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