Feb. 25, 2011
|Sunday, February 27th – 2:00 pm EST|
|Donald L. Tucker Center | Tallahassee, FL|
|Tickets – Available | Seating Chart|
|TV: Seminoles.com | Radio: 1270 AM – Tallahassee|
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|Head to Head|
By: Sean Grimm, Special to Seminoles.com
The ends of many things in life are often bittersweet, and this Sunday, the end of the regular-season collegiate careers of two great Seminoles commences with Senior Day 2011.
Following a tough road loss to the Miami Hurricanes, the Florida State Seminoles women’s basketball team looks to bounce back at home on Senior Day against the Clemson Tigers.
For nine players, it will just mark the end of another successful regular season. But for two, Courtney Ward and Christian Hunnicutt, it will be the last time they ever get to play in front of their home crowd at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“It’s a little bit sad, but I’m excited,” Ward said. “I get to go out and give Coach Sue (Semrau) one of her best games that I can possibly give her and just show how much I appreciate the fans.”
“I’m happy, I guess, to be a senior, but I’m sad to leave at the same time, so it’s kind of bittersweet,” added Hunnicutt.
These two seniors have been key parts of Coach Sue’s turnaround of the Florida State program, both being leaders on and off the court.
“No matter what it is, no matter what circumstance, I try to go out and represent Florida State the best I can,” said Hunnicutt, in regards to how she hopes her career is viewed for years to come, “Working hard, giving anything I can to the team to help us win.”
Ward said she hopes the fans have anything positive to remember about her time as a Seminole because she believes she gave Florida State the best four years she was capable of.
Both girls agree that that the coaches have had incredible impacts on their lives.
“Being under the radar my senior year in high school, the coaches actually coming out to watch me and giving me the opportunity to come play Division I basketball has been the biggest impact ever,” Hunnicutt said.
Ward also added the coaches have not only helped her excel in basketball, but also in life in general. Ward also made sure to praise not only her coaches and teammates, but also the fans.
“All four years that I’ve been here I’ve gotten a lot of love from of course my coaches and teammates, but a lot of love from the fans,” Ward said. “After every game I get all kinds of messages on Facebook saying how much they really appreciate what I do and that puts a smile on my face every day.”
Ward will be looking to put a smile on her fans’ faces one last time in Tallahassee against Clemson.
However, in the midst of all these emotions surrounding senior day, Ward and Hunnicutt understand firsthand the cost of letting your emotion get the best of you.
When they were freshmen they witnessed their seniors fall in their final game at home, and Ward and Hunnicutt recognize they need to be on their toes to avoid Deja vu.
They also realize that the season doesn’t stop here, and the seniors are both hopeful that they can close the year with a successful tournament run.
“Our goal is to get further than we did last year,” Hunnicutt said. “We want to go all the way if possible, so that’s our number one goal. Whatever it takes to get it done, we’re going to try our best.”
In addition to thanking the seniors, Sunday’s game is also a thank you to the fans. FSU head coach Sue Semrau has been distributing tickets throughout the community as a sign of appreciation for all the support this year.
Fans can still pick up free tickets at the FSU Athletics marketing office.
For the Seminoles (22-6, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), the game against the Tigers (10-18, 3-10) is especially important because of conference tournament seeding factors and due to the fact that FSU is still in the hunt for at least a share of the regular-season conference title.
A Florida State win and losses by both Duke and Miami would earn the ‘Noles a share of the crown for the third season in a row.
If FSU beats Clemson, the Seminoles would have over 10 ACC wins in three consecutive seasons. That has never happened before in the history of women’s basketball at Florida State.
The ‘Noles are 6-7 in regular-season finales under head coach Sue Semrau’s direction.
Florida State currently boasts 34 wins in the ACC since the 2008-09 season, which is tied with Duke for the most of any squad in the league.
The Seminoles and Tigers met earlier this season in Clemson, SC. FSU won that ballgame, 83-73, and is now 17-24 all time in the series history between the two. FSU is 8-11 against Clemson when playing in Tallahassee.
FSU’s final contest of the year is being called the “Thank You, Thank Them” game.