Jan. 19, 2005
The No. 24-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team will host No. 6 North Carolina in ACC action Thursday, January 20th at 7 p.m. The Seminoles are 16-2 and 3-1 in the ACC while the Tar Heels, who are ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press poll, are 14-2 overall and 2-1 in league action. The game will be televised live on Sun Sports (formerly Sunshine) Network.
“Carolina is an interesting team to try to stop because they are so versatile,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “They have a low-block presence and at the same time have great three-point shooters so they are very balanced. They run hard in transition so they are a team very different than any we’ve faced. Maybe the most similar would be Maryland who didn’t have a strong three-point threat. For us, we’re going to really need to get back in transition D and make it a high priority and keep them off the boards.”
FSU broke into the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 24 on Tuesday. It’s the first time the women’s basketball team has been ranked since December 10, 2001. On Sunday, in their first meeting with a ranked opponent this season, the Seminoles topped #15 Maryland 95-91 in overtime. Senior Roneeka Hodges, the reigning ACC Player of the Week, scored an FSU record 39 points as four Seminoles in all tallied double figures.
“What a national ranking does for you is it gives your program more exposure,” Semrau said. “A lot of people read the USA Today and it helps us with exposure of our program and also recruiting for our program. Like I’ve said all along, it shows respect for the hard work that the players have done and also, especially in this case, for the adversity they have fought through.”
Thursday’s game could be the one shot the Seminoles and Tar Heels get against one another this season. With the new ACC format, FSU plays only Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech twice this year during the regular season. All of the other ACC schools are just a one-time deal until the ACC Tourney. North Carolina has a 24-6 series advantage over Florida State, dating back to the 1981-82 season. Since FSU joined the ACC in 1991-92, UNC is 23-4 vs. the Seminoles. Overall vs. UNC, FSU is 2-11 in Tallahassee, 2-12 in Chapel Hill and 2-1 at neutral sites.
The Seminoles will have to contend with UNC’s Ivory Latta, who at 16.1 points per game, is the team leader. She’s also averaging 5.1 assists per game. Rookie Erlana Larkins is averaging 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds while Camille Little comes in at 11.9 points per game. The Tar Heels are averaging 81.7 points per game.
“They’re (the Tar Heels ) going to want an up-tempo game and even though we like to run, we want to keep the game into the 50’s and 60’s so it’s going to be a challenge,” Semrau said. “It’s going to be really fighting to play our tempo and to value the basketball on the offensive end so we can get good looks so they can’t get into transition.”
Hodges ranks third in the ACC in scoring at 19.1 points per game while sophomore Alicia Gladden is second on the team at 12.0 points and first at 7.1 rebounds per game.
ACC PRESEASON FAVORITE COMES TO TOWN No. 24 SEMINOLES (16-2, 3-1 ACC) vs. No. 6/No. 9 North Carolina (14-2, 2-1 ACC) January 20, 2005 The Tucker Center 7:00 p.m. Sun Sports Tom Block, Charles Davis WFLA -AM 1270 seminoles.com - Ryan Pensy, Jamie Hovda
FLORIDA STATE 2004-05 Record 16-2, 3-1 ACC 2003-04 Final Record 15-15 Head Coach Sue Semrau/8th Season School Record 108-112 Career Record Same Starters Returning/Lost 2/3 Conference Atlantic Coast
NORTH CAROLINA *Neely was a starter 2004-05 Record 14-2, 2-1 ACC 2003-04 Final Record 24-7 Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell/19th Season School Record 396-184 Career Record 668-264/30th Season Starters Returning/Lost 4/1 Conference Atlantic Coast
THE STORY LINE
GENERALLY-SPEAKING… FSU broke into the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 24…in their first meeting with a ranked opponent this season, the Seminoles topped #15 Maryland 95-91 in overtime… senior Roneeka Hodges scored an FSU record 39 points as four Seminoles in all tallied double figures…on Monday, Hodges earned her second ACC Player of the Week honor.
THE SERIES… Thursday’s game could be the one shot the Seminoles and Tar Heels get against one another this season. With the new ACC format, FSU plays only Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech twice this year during the regular season. All of the other ACC schools are just a one-time deal until the ACC Tourney of course…North Carolina has a 24-6 series advantage over Florida State, dating back to the 1981-82 season. Since FSU joined the ACC in 1991-92, UNC is 23-4 vs. the Seminoles. Overall vs. UNC, FSU is 2-11 in Tallahassee, 2-12 in Chapel Hill and 2-1 at neutral sites.
Florida State has made its way into the national rankings as the Seminoles were pegged the nation’s No. 24 team in this week’s ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It’s the first time FSU has been ranked since the December 10, 2001 Coaches Poll when the Seminoles were No. 25. The last time FSU was ranked No. 24 in the nation was on January 18, 1993. FSU has not been ranked in the Associated Press poll since the 1991 season. There are currently four ACC teams ranked in the Coaches Poll.
The win over Maryland was the Tribe’s 16th of the season – already one more than last year’s total. The 16 wins is the third most wins under Sue Semrau’s reign. In 2000-01, she led FSU to a 19-12 record while in 2002-03, the Tribe went 17-13. FSU already has more wins this season than in nine of the last 12 seasons, including four seasons under the direction of head coach Sue Semrau.
HODGES SETS RECORD
Senior Roneeka Hodges’ 39 points in the overtime win vs. No. 15 Maryland set an FSU record for points in a game. The previous record was 38 points held by Latavia Coleman (38) and Tia Paschal (1993). Ironically, both Coleman and Pashcal set their marks against North Carolina – FSU’s next opponent. Hodges has now recorded two 30+ point games this season. Only five other Seminoles have ever recorded multiple 30-point games in a single season. It puts Hodges in good company:
Player Year Totals Bev Burnett 1986 34, 32 1988 30, 34, 30, 30 Latavia Coleman 1998 38, 30 2000 32, 31 Christy Derlak 1994 33, 30 Sue Galkantas 1982 34, 33, 30 Tia Paschal 1993 38, 36
HODGES NAMED ACC POW
Roneeka Hodges was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after guiding Florida State to two ACC wins, including a thrilling 95-91 overtime win over No. 15 Maryland Sunday. It is the second ACC Player of the Week honor for the senior from New Orleans, La.
Hodges scored an FSU-record 39 points in the Maryland win and also had a team-high six rebounds.
Hodges also led FSU in both points (24) and rebounds (9) in the road win at Clemson. She shot 61 percent from the field in that game and 40 percent from three-point range.
For the week, Hodges averaged a remarkable 31.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and shot 59 percent from the field, 63 percent from three-point range and 46 percent from the line. In 37.0 minutes per game, she averaged just two turnovers.
The first time she earned ACC honors this season was Dec. 20th when Hodges averaged 24.5 points and a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game in the Seminoles two victories over Florida Atlantic and UT-Arlington. Against UT-Arlington, she registered a career-high 33 points as the `Noles improved to 8-0 this season. The senior guard also shot 54.1 percent from the floor and averaged two assists per game.
FSU VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Seminoles are now 1-0 against ranked teams this season with the Maryland contest being the first game against a ranked opponent this season. The win over the Terps was the Tribe’s first win over a ranked opponent since the 80-74 win over then No. 2 Duke on Feb. 4, 2004.
ONE OF THE BEST
With its 16-2 record, Florida State has tied the best start in program history. The 1981-82 Seminoles went 16-2 in their first 18 games. That year, the Tribe suffered five straight losses beginning in the 19th game of the season but rebounded for a 28-10 record. When FSU went 12-0 to start this season, it was the first time that a Seminole team opened a season with 12 straight wins. It was also the first time in program history that a Seminole team won 12 straight games. Here’s a look at some other FSU teams that have had success in the early part of the season:
Year First 18 games Final Record 1981-82 16-2 finished 29-10 2004-05 16-2 ?????? 1982-83 15-3 finished 24-6 1990-91 14-4 finished 25-7
SCORED SOME POINTS
The Seminoles scored a season-high 95 points in the Maryland win. The last time FSU eclipsed the 90-point mark was in last year’s 96-82 win over Harvard on November 30, 2003. FSU’s previous season-high was 85 points in the FAMU win. FSU has now scored 82 or more points in four games. The Terps’ 91 points is also the most points the Tribe has allowed this season. The previous was 72 by Charlotte. FSU’s next opponent, North Carolina, has scored 80+ points eight times, including three games in the 90s.
ASSISTS TO TURNOVERS
Three times 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.
GOOD FIRST HALVES
After trailing at halftime in five straight games, the Seminoles have now led at the break in the past two contests. In the five games in which FSU trailed at halftime, it was never by more than six points and the Tribe came back and won three of them.