GAME: No. 11 Richmond (23-7) vs. No. 6 Florida State (23-7).
REGIONAL: Kansas City, First Round.
TIME: Sunday, 9:30 p.m. EST.
SITE: Gampel Pavilion; Storrs, Conn.
Roneeka Hodges hopes her experience will rub off on her teammates.
Hodges will lead Florida State into its first NCAA tournament appearance
since 2001 when it takes on Richmond in the first round.
Florida State is coming off its first 20-win season since 1990-91. Hodges is
the lone Seminole with any tournament experience as she played at LSU from
2000-03 before transferring and sitting out last season.
“I think being able to share some things with them and answer some
questions they may have will be good, but the most important thing about it is
us just coming out to play,” Hodges said. “No matter if we’ve been there or
not, it’s still a basketball game, it’s still the same.”
One advantage her teammates will have is their memory of last year’s 84-77
season-ending loss to Richmond in the WNIT, a defeat which has bothered Florida
State for some time.
“It definitely helps having just played them last year because we know a
little bit about them,” Seminoles guard Holly Johnson said. “The big thing
that helps is going back out and getting some redemption since they beat us
last year in the NIT so I think that’s going to be a big motivator.”
Richmond won last year’s meeting by getting off to a hot start and building
a 21-point lead by the break. The Spiders’ Kate Flavin and Saona Chapman each
finished 26 points.
Flavin, who is averaging 17.4 points and 9.1 rebounds, hopes to be ready
after missing the Atlantic 10 tournament with a knee injury. She is just the
third player in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.
Florida State, which has just one starter taller than 5-foot-11, is assuming
the 6-2 Flavin will be available.
“Richmond has a great post player in Katie Flavin and they’ve got a great
guard in Saona Chapman so they’re going to be tough to shut down and I think it
will be a great basketball game,” Seminoles coach Sue Semrau said.
This is the first NCAA appearance for Richmond since 1991 and its third
Richmond is excited about the opportunity to play in front of the rabid
Connecticut fans at Gampel Pavilion.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better site,” Spiders coach Joanne Boyle
said. “The community there embraces women’s basketball and provides our
players a great opportunity to experience ‘March Madness’ firsthand.”
Boyle is also familiar with Florida State from her days as an assistant
coach at ACC power Duke from 1994-2002.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Richmond – F Flavin (17.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg), F Christina
Campion (9.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg), G Chapman (11.8 ppg, 4.6 apg), G Araceli Gil (7.5
ppg, 3.3 rpg), G DeUnna Hendrix (5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg). Florida State – G Hodges
(19.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg), G Ganiyat Adeduntan (11.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg), G Alicia Gladden
(12.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg), G Holly Johnson (8.6 ppg, 3.9 apg), G Linnea Liljestrand
(8.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Richmond – At-large berth, Atlantic 10. Florida State –
At-large berth, ACC.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Richmond – 0-2, 3 years. Florida State – 2-4, 5