Dec. 9, 2006
The No. 25 Florida State women’s basketball team overcame a slow start to earn its 10th win of the season with a 75-66 victory over UCF (1-8) Saturday night at UCF Arena. Junior Shante Williams led the Seminoles (10-1) with 16 points as all five starters recorded double figures.
“We share so well and not only do they want to share the ball but they’re learning where the openings are based on where the defense is,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “When they all play aggressively and they want to share the ball like that, we knock down shots and that’s the way we want to play.”
After being down as many as 15 points, Florida State trailed 35-33 at halftime and struggled to regain the lead in the opening minutes of the second half. UCF opened both halves with hot shooting and went back up six on the Seminoles four times before a Mara Freshour jumper at 13:32 gave FSU a 46-45 lead. There were two more lead changes before the Seminoles went up for good on Freshour free throws. She finished the game with 11 points. FSU led the final 12:12 of the game and thanks to a 20-6 run that put the Seminoles up double-digits, the closest the Golden Knights got in the final 7:09 was seven points.
“Anytime you go on the road and play an in-state school, your going to get their best shot,” Semrau said. “Credit UCF for the way they shot the ball coming out of the gates but I credit our team too. I think it was a great game for us to learn fight. We played together as a team very well and I was very pleased with our continued effort on the boards. I think we’re growing more as a team and that was the important thing.”
Alicia Gladden had a solid second half, scoring 11 of her 14 points in the final 20 minutes. FSU went inside more in the final 10 minutes of the game and Britany Miller capitalized as she scored all seven of her second half points in the that stretch. She finished with 13 for the game and was one of three Seminoles with six rebounds.
FSU shot 67 percent in the second half and finished at 54 percent for the game. The Seminoles outrebounded the Golden Knights, who were led by Francine Houston’s 18 points, by 13 at 39-26.
UCF hit its first four three-point attempts and led FSU by 15 points at 21-6 with 12:52 left in the first half when the Seminoles decided to play. Led by Williams’ six points, Florida State scored nine unanswered to get itself back in the game. While the Seminoles continued to play catch up, Tanae Davis-Cain did her part from long range, hitting two of her first three attempts from beyond the arc, on her way to an 11-point performance. FSU also started hitting the boards. The Golden Knights had an early rebounding advantage but the Seminoles recovered to have a 22-15 edge at halftime. FSU’s first lead of the game was at 29-28 with 3:03 left in the half but the Seminoles trailed by a bucket at the break.
The Seminoles will get a much-needed break from competition next week as they take their final exams. FSU will play at Washington (Dec. 17th) and San Francisco (Dec. 20th) before Christmas.