Nov. 18, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The No. 21-ranked Florida State women’s basketball team defeated North Florida 60-49 Tuesday night at UNF Arena in Jacksonville in the team’s first road contest of the young season.
Paced by forward Jacinta Monroe’s game-high 21 points on seven-of-eight shooting and seven rebounds, the Seminoles (2-0) shook off a sluggish first half and avoided falling to a scrappy Ospreys (0-2) squad.
“North Florida did some things that we hadn’t seen a lot of,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We just had to learn through it and grow through it but I thought they played with a lot of heart and a lot of guts.”
For Monroe, the seven rebounds by the junior meant she came within three boards of securing the 10th double-double of her career and second in as many contests.
In addition to Monroe, senior Tanae Davis-Cain finished with 15 points and connected on two of her six, three-point attempts to move within eight triples of tying the career all-time school record of 134 successful shots from behind the arc.
The Seminoles battled foul trouble and turnovers most of the night but corrected those issues late in the game when it meant the most. FSU finished the game with 26 turnovers but only had nine in the second half.
The Seminole defense did its job and forced 30 UNF turnovers and held the Ospreys to 40.9-percent shooting from the field. More importantly, FSU held UNF to just five points in the game’s final six minutes.
“We were in a little bit of foul trouble in the first half and we didn’t want to really risk that,” Semrau said. “Once we got into a rhythm with having the key players in at the right time, I thought we looked a little better. We still played a little tentative and we’ll correct that tomorrow.”
Sophomore point guard Courtney Ward led the Seminoles with a game-high four steals while Davis-Cain and senior guard Mara Freshour added three takeaways apiece.
Jadhken Kerr led UNF with 13 points as the only Osprey in double-digit scoring.
FSU couldn’t quite shake UNF throughout most of the game as the Ospreys found themselves never trailing by more than nine points late into the second half. But with just over three minutes remaining in the ballgame, Monroe calmly drilled two free throws to push the FSU lead to 57-46 and the Seminoles never looked back in the victory.
The Seminoles took a 25-20 lead into intermission after a first half marred by poor shooting and turnovers by both squads. In total, FSU committed 15 turnovers and shot just 39.1 percent from the field in the opening half.
As for UNF, despite building an early 7-1 lead after securing the opening tip, the Ospreys gave the ball away 17 times and shot a paltry 30.4 percent in the game’s first 20 minutes.
FSU took its first lead of the game with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half before relinquishing it a few moments later. The ‘Noles then regained what would turn out to be the lead for good at 22-20 when Davis-Cain sunk two free-throws two minutes before the half.
The Seminoles return home to the Donald L. Tucker Center to face the College of Charleston Thursday, November 20th at 6 p.m.
In addition to hosting the Cougars, FSU will hold its annual Canned Food Drive. Fans who bring two unopened canned goods to the game will receive free admission. Last year over 500 cans were donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which helps feed many families throughout the nation and in Tallahassee.