Dec. 15, 2006
After a week off for final exams, the No. 23-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team will head west for a two-game road swing where the Seminoles will try to avenge last year’s 71-69 loss to the Washington Huskies and will then face San Francisco for the first time in program history.
“One of the biggest advantages to having this week is that school is going to be done,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said, “and as we all know, college athletes have a lot on their minds, especially during finals’ week. We’ve had good practices and we’ve gotten a lot accomplished for them being in finals week. We’ve also had a chance for some of them to heal up and even go through some minor viruses and bugs.”
The first stop will be Seattle, Washington, the hometown of Semrau. The Seminoles and Huskies square off Sunday, December 17th at 4 p.m. EST at the Bank of America Arena.
“I grew up a University of Washington fan and went to camp there as a kid,” Semrau said. “My love of basketball originated in Seattle. It’s a great basketball town. I worked camps at the University of Washington and developed a friendship with Chris Gobrecht (former UW and FSU head coach) there. The way everything unfolded is just such a wild story. To be going back there with our Florida State team is really special.”
Washington (5-4), which was ranked in the Coaches poll the first two weeks of the season (No. 25, No. 23) will host Gonzaga, Friday, Dec. 15th before welcoming the Seminoles.
“It will be a great challenge for us,” Semrau said. “Washington is a high-energy team that plays very hard. They’re a veteran team and it’s going to be the best challenge that we’ve seen so far. They’re probably more battle-tested than we are and they will be playing on their home court but I like the way we match up with them and I think it will be a great basketball game.”
In last year’s meeting with Washington in Tallahassee, FSU fought back from 16 points down and led by seven points with just under six minutes to play but missed costly free throws down the stretch and came up just short. FSU shot just 44 percent (12-for-27) from the free throw line in the game.
Florida State moved up the the national rankings with two wins last week and is now at No. 23 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. FSU is one of four ACC teams ranked in the Top 25. Maryland, North Carolina and Duke are one, two and four, respectively, in both polls.
The Seminoles will continue their road trip with a 10 p.m. EST tilt at 3-6 San Francisco on Wednesday, December 20th before breaking for the holidays. The Dons will travel to Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton before hosting the Seminoles.
The trip out west will mark the fifth time Semrau has taken her Seminoles to the western part of the country and the third time they have played in California. Overall, Semrau-coached Seminole teams have gone 3-4 in games played out west. Associate head coach Cori Close is a native of Milpitas, Calif., which is around 40 minutes from San Francisco, lived in Santa Barbara, Calif., for 13 years with a two-year break where she lived in L.A. while going to graduate school at UCLA.