Nov. 16, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 21 Florida State women’s basketball team opened its 2008-09 season Sunday with an 81-62 victory over visiting Florida Gulf Coast at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The game’s outcome marked the 15th consecutive year in which the Seminoles picked up a victory on opening day.
FSU (1-0) displayed a balanced attack on offense that mixed the inside and outside games as five players finished in double figures. Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain led the way with a game-high 18 points while fellow guards Mara Freshour (12 points) and Angel Gray (career-high 10 points) also got in on the scoring action.
On the inside, Jacinta Monroe registered the ninth double-double of her career as she scored 15 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. True freshman starting center Cierra Bravard also served as a significant presence in the paint as she recorded 15 points and eight rebounds.
“Jacinta is so consistent this year; she doesn’t get too high and she doesn’t get too low,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “She does the job and she is playing fundamental basketball. I think the presence of Cierra Bravard inside has been a tremendous boost but also Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour on the wings helps us stretch things out.”
Defensively, the Seminoles started firing on all cylinders at tip-off.
FSU smothered the Eagles (1-1) early on and finished the game allowing just 38.5-percent shooting from the floor.
The ‘Noles also won the rebounding battle 45-23. Included in that is a huge advantage in offensive rebounds, 15-2.
“The fact that we were able to hold them to just two all night I think bodes very well for us,” Semrau said.
For the game, FSU shot 53.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the 3-point line.
One area of concern for the Seminoles however, was the overall team performance from the free-throw line. FSU had 28 chances from the charity stripe but connected on just 13 of them for a percentage of just 46.4.
Despite the free-throw woes, Seminole fans in attendance had plenty to cheer about – especially early on.
FSU led 37-24 at the halftime break but actually raced to an early 14-0 advantage that then ballooned into a 24-2 lead. Credit the Eagles for showing the poise to keep fighting back as FGCU eventually cut the deficit to 45-39 just under seven minutes into the second half.
But that was as close as they would come as FSU never trailed in the game.
“One thing our coaches talk about is staying consistent the whole game,” Davis-Cain said. “Not letting up because we are up. Just continuing to play through it no matter what the score is.”
Kelsey Jacobson’s 14 points and Emma Beddome’s 13 led the way for a Florida Gulf Coast squad that defeated the University of Florida 88-86 in both teams opener Friday night.
Sunday’s contest marked the second consecutive season in which FSU opened up its season against the Eagles. The Seminoles earned a 93-53 win last year.
Next up for Florida State is a road contest against the University of North Florida Tuesday night at 7 p.m.