Jan. 29, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Down 12 points, 10 points, even six points with 45 seconds left in regulation wasn’t too much for the No. 18-ranked Florida State women’s basketball to overccome as the Seminoles upset third-ranked Duke 82-75 in overtime Thursday to grab sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Mara Freshour scored a season-high 21 points as the Seminoles (18-4, 6-0 ACC) erased a six-point deficit in the final 48 seconds to get the game to overtime while winning their ninth straight and ending Duke’s 15-game win streak. Freshour’s 3-pointer from the left side with 21.6 seconds left sent the game into overtime tied at 68. She added another from long distance midway through the extra period to spark the win as the Seminoles never trailed in overtime.
The win gave Florida State its third straight win over a ranked opponent and fourth overall this season. The Seminoles now own two wins this season over the nation’s third-ranked team as Texas A&M was ranked No. 3 back on January 5th when FSU pulled the 60-53 upset.
Monroe, Freshour and Davis-Cain each grabbed eight rebounds to help the Seminoles to a 40-33 advantage.
Duke (17-2, 5-1) was led by Jasmine Thomas’ 16 points.
Joy Cheek’s jumper with 58 seconds left gave the Blue Devils what appeared to be a safe lead at 66-60, but Freshour countered 12 seconds later and then drilled the game-tying shot after a basket and free throw by freshman Cierra Bravard while Duke went scoreless.
Freshour put the game away with two free throws with 23 seconds left in overtime.
The Blue Devils built a 28-16 lead in the first half, capitalizing on a Florida State scoreless drought that lasted almost 6 minutes but the Seminoles pulled to within three at 37-34 by halftime. Davis-Cain forced the game’s second tie with a three-pointer to open the second half but Duke went on a 16-6 run to go up 53-43 with 12:41 remaining inthe game.
Florida State owned the overtime period, shooting 50 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free throw line on 7-for-10 and hit its only three-point attempt.
Florida State Coach Sue Semrau
“I guess the best thing to say is that little things make big things happen. This was another team effort. We continue to see different people step up at different times. Cayla Moore is sitting in there with a concussion right now and she came up big on Chante Black. A very unsung hero, hasn’t played a lot of minutes, and stepped in and took that charge that fouled her out of the game. I am very proud of those types of players on our team and I think everybody respects those types of players and much as the “big dogs.” Again, Cint (Jacinta Monroe) came up huge. Tanae (Davis-Cain), Mara (Freshour) continue to come up huge and we had a great crowd that I think enjoyed the game.”
Florida State‘s Mara Freshour:
On knocking off another Top 3 team and beating a team higher ranked in the ACC:
“I don’t think any of us came into this game with any fear of `oh, they’re this ranking or we’re this ranking.’ I think throughout the season, we’ve just gained more confidence every game and our coaches have really been stressing, `get better every week.’ So whether we have two days to prepare for a game or three days, every practice that we walk in, were working on getting better. We’re not playing the name on the chest anymore, we’re just going out to win and our confidence right now is really allowing us to do that.”
Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie
“You have to credit Florida State. They played a fabulous game. They outplayed us in many ways, particularly their back court. What I think is fascinating about this game is that many times throughout the year we’re asked about offense, shooting percentage and scoring points and things of that nature. And this is such a classic, classic game of losing defensive poise and so I’d like to state for the record that offense is overrated. We scored plenty of points but we didn’t stop anybody and we needed some critical stops down the stretch. It’s a great lesson for our team. Again, I want to commend their team. They put together some nice play. It was very disappointing to be outrebounded. That’s another key component and so when coaches talk about defense and rebounding, perhaps there’s a piece of truth there.”
On FSU this year vs. last year:
“I don’t think there’s any comparison to last year’s team, they’re a lot better. I don’t remember all the issues, I think 20 (Tanae Davis-Cain) was out, wasn’t she last year? Twenty (Davis-Cain) did not play against us. She’s a fine player. We did not defend her, we did not box her out. I’m mean 17 points, eight rebounds, so we had lots of problems with and I think 12 (Courtney Ward) has grown quite a bit. Look at 10 assists for her and the way she played so I think those would probably be the keys. I’m sure the other players have done well also and of course 10’s (Mara Freshour) a senior and she’s developed her game a little bit too. So, I’d say they’re much, much different than last year.”
Duke’s Chante Black
On FSU’s play:
“Yeah, they were a physical group but they just came ready to play and it went their way. They outboarded us and played us physical than want we wanted to… it just went their way.”