Jan. 14, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s basketball program is looking to extend its five-game winning streak and unblemished record in league play as the Seminoles (14-4, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) travel to play at N.C. State (8-8, 0-1) Thursday at 7 p.m.
If FSU wants to achieve win No. 15 on the season, the program must exorcise the demons so to speak of Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.
The Wolfpack’s home gym represents the only basketball arena in the entire ACC that FSU head coach Sue Semrau has never won in during her 12-year tenure.
The Seminoles enter Thursday night’s game boasting a five-game winning streak on the season. FSU and N.C. State met only once last year and the Seminoles earned a 57-54 victory in that contest.
Semrau SEVEN WINS AWAY FROM no. 200
In her 12th season as head coach of the Florida State women’s basketball program, Sue Semrau will always remember the win that put her within single digits of 200 career victories. That’s because career win No. 191 occurred against third-ranked Texas A&M and will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in Seminole history. She then followed that up by achieving her 192nd career win with a victory at Virginia Tech and No. 193 against Clemson. Semrau is used to making magic happen at FSU as she became the program’s winningest coach in her ninth season on Feb. 19, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated Clemson 80-72 in overtime. She has guided the Seminoles to double-digit victories in nine-straight seasons and to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and five overall.
FSU VS. NC STATE
Florida State’s Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at NC State comes with a huge subplot. That’s because Reynolds Coliseum is the only ACC gym in which FSU head coach Sue Semrau has never earned a victory during her 12-year tenure with the Seminoles. FSU is 0-8 all-time at NC State while under Semrau’s lead but is 6-3 against the Wolfpack when playing in Tallahassee, Fla. NC State has also dominated the series history with FSU as the Wolfpack owns a 24-8 all-time record against the Seminoles.
Scouting THE WOLFPACK
FSU……………………………. PER GAME……………………….. NCSU
71.0……………………………….. POINTS…………………………….. 61.9
.429 ………………………………… FG%……………………………….. .396
.369……………………………….. 3 FG%……………………………… .262
.669…………………………………. FT%……………………………….. .700
42.8……………………………. REBOUNDS…………………………… 40.7
13.4………………………………. ASSISTS…………………………….. 10.6
19.4…………………………… TURNOVERS………………………….. 15.9
8.3…………………………………. STEALS………………………………… 9.3
4.7………………………………… BLOCKS………………………………. 4.3
AGAINST NC STATE LAST YEAR
Florida State and NC State met just once last season and the Seminoles pulled out a close 57-54 victory at home at the Donald L. Tucker Center. In that game, FSU was led by now-senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain, who scored 15 of her total 17 points in the second half. Seminole starters Mara Freshour and Jacinta Monroe registered nine and four points, respectively, as well. FSU’s victory over NC State last season halted a three-game losing streak against the Wolfpack.
HISTORY ON ITS SIDE?
According to records, Florida State has played two previous games on January 15 during the Sue Semrau era. Luckily for any superstitious Seminoles, just like this year’s version of a Jan. 15 game, both of those two previous games were victories and both were on the road. FSU earned an 81-73 at Wake Forest on Jan. 15, 2004 and picked up a 70-60 win at Virginia Tech two years ago on Jan. 15, 2007.
FSU HEADS TO NC State 4-0 ON THE ROAD
Despite a 2-3 record neutral site record while playing in in-season tournament games, the Seminoles are a perfect 4-0 on the road this season in their opponents’ home gym after defeating Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., last week. The Seminoles have also had road wins at North Florida, Temple and LSU this season.
BRAVARD IS ACC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
FSU’s Cierra Bravard was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 11. Bravard helped her Seminoles to three wins, including a victory over No. 3 Texas A&M. This is the first such honor for Bravard and the first conference honor for the Seminoles this season. In just 17.7 minutes of play off of the bench, Bravard averaged 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in FSU’s three victories and helped FSU to a 2-0 start in ACC play. Bravard shot 58 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free throw line for the week. She led the Seminoles in scoring in her first career ACC game with 14 points and six rebounds in the win at Virginia Tech in just 17 minutes of play off of the bench. The Sandusky, Ohio, native added 17 points and eight boards in the Clemson victory and is averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in ACC play. Bravard is averaging 11.1 points per game which ranks third among all ACC freshmen and her 60 percent field goal percentage ranks second among all ACC players.
IMPROVING THE TURNOVER ISSUES
One game after tying their season-high in turnovers with 26 at Virginia Tech, the Seminoles protected the ball in the win over Clemson. In that game, FSU gave the ball away just 14 times, which was the second-lowest total of the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles are now averaging 19.3 turnovers per game. In the Sue Semrau era, FSU averaged 20+ turnovers per contest in her first three seasons. In each of her NCAA Tournament seasons, FSU has averaged no more than 18.3 turnovers per game and that was last season.
FSU Turnovers Per Game In Semrau Era
2007-08 18.3 NCAA Tournament
2006-07 16.9 NCAA Tournament
2005-06 15.7 NCAA Tournament
2004-05 16.5 NCAA Tournament
2000-01 17.8 NCAA Tournament
DAVIS-CAIN HAS THE SHOOTING TOUCH EARLY
Over the past two ballgames, senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain has made it a habit of getting out to a hot start early on. In games at Virginia Tech and at home against Clemson, Davis-Cain combined for 26 points in the first half of both of those wins. Against the Hokies she registered 10 points and then had 16 first-half points against the Tigers. The Dawson, Ga., native finished the victory over Clemson with a game-high 21 points.
TWO SEASON-HIGHS FOR FRESHOUR
In her three-plus seasons in the garnet and gold, senior Mara Freshour has been asked to do a lot for the Seminoles. And this year is no different as the Nashville, Ind., native has had to play all over the court for FSU and in a variety of different roles. Against Clemson, that role was as scorer and rebounder. Freshour finished that game with season-highs in points (17) and rebounds (nine) and also dished out four assists.
Another double-double for monroe
Junior Jacinta Monroe currently leads the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), rebounding (7.2 rpg) and blocked shots (2.3 bpg) and against Clemson, FSU’s talented post-player added to another category. That’s because with 13 points and 10 rebounds she achieved her team-high fourth double-double of the season and the 12th of her career. She turned in five double-doubles as a freshman and had three last season during her sophomore campaign.
CRACKING THE STARTING LINEUP
Alysha Harvin’s aggressiveness has landed the junior a spot in the starting five the past four games. Harvin, who is averaging 7.3 points per game, scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in a season-high 30 minutes of action against Clemson. She is shooting a team-high 85 percent from the free throw line and is averaging 10.0 points per game over the last 11 games.
STELLAR OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE IN FIRST HALF
The first 20 minutes of the game against Clemson featured a high-powered offensive show by the Seminoles that had only been seen one other time this season. The 45 first-half points posted by FSU tied the team’s season-high for scoring in the first 20 minutes and the most first-half points at home this season. The Seminoles other 45-point opening half came against Temple when FSU boasted a 45-17 advantage at halftime in Philadelphia, Pa. The most points scored in a half this season for the Seminoles was 47 in the second half of the UCF victory.
BACK-TO-BACK GAMES WITH SEVEN 3-POINTERS
Sunday’s victory over Clemson marked the second-straight game in which the Seminoles connected for seven 3-pointers. Against the Tigers, FSU was 7-for-14 from long range and in the team’s previous outing against Virginia Tech, the Seminoles were 7-for-15 from the same distance. FSU made a season-high nine three-pointers in the UConn game.
WARD BACK AT THE POINT
Sophomore Courtney Ward broke back into the starting lineup in the UCF game after coming off the bench in seven-straight games and has been stellar in all facets of her game. Ward came off a 12-point, seven-assist performance in the Virginia Tech game to score three points and dish out a game-high five assists in the win over Clemson. In four-straight starts, she has averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 assists per game. She is also averaging a team-high 4.1 assists per game.
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe has led the Seminoles in blocked shots over the past two seasons and is steadily climbing the ranks as one of the greatest shot blockers in program history. With a game-high four rejections against Virginia Tech and a game-high three blocks against Clemson, Monroe has a team-high 41 swats this season. Monroe now has 182 career blocked shots and is just 27 shy of Brooke Wyckoff’s all-time record of 209 she set from 1997-2001. Monroe is averaging 2.3 blocks per game this season and if she stays on this pace will have 212 career blocked shots after the first game of the ACC Tournament. She will likely, however, better that pace as she has already recorded three or more blocks in seven games this season including a season-high six against Mercer.
FASTEST TO 14 WINS SINCE 2004-05 Season
By defeating Clemson on Jan. 11, the Seminoles have reached 14 regular-season wins the quickest since the 2004-05 season. Last year, FSU didn’t reach 14 wins until defeating Miami on Jan. 24. The year before that, win No. 14 didn’t occur until Jan. 15 against Virginia Tech. During the 2005-06 campaign, the Seminoles didn’t post14 wins until Feb. 5 versus then-No. 24 NC State.
SOUNDS SIMPLE: FSU WINS WHEN THEY SCORE
With 80 points against Clemson, Florida State is now a perfect 5-0 when the Seminoles score at least 80 points in a game. The Seminoles are also undefeated when they lead at halftime and are perfect in games decided by 20 points or more.
SEASON-TICKET SALES UP 63 PERCENT
Make no mistake about it, college basketball at Florida State University is getting more and more popular each season. The FSU marketing office reports that with a school-record 1,819 women’s basketball season tickets sales for the 2008-09 season, the Seminoles have now sold 63 percent more seats than they did a season ago. The previous high number for season tickets was 1,119 during the 2006-07 season.
DAVIS-CAIN REACHES 1,000, Freshour OVER 900
Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain already made a little bit of history this season by officially becoming FSU’s career leader in 3-pointers made and against UCF she became the 22nd player in Seminole history to score at least 1,000 points in a career. With 21 points against Clemson, the Dawson, Ga., native now has 1,047 points in her stellar career. Senior guard Mara Freshour also has the opportunity to leave her name in the 3-pointer record books as she moved into sole position of second place on the all-time 3-pointers made list with one against LSU. She currently has 141 career triples while Davis-Cain currently has 159 after making four against Clemson. In addition to moving up the career list for 3-pointers, Freshour also could reach the 1,000-point mark in this, her final season at FSU. Against Virginia Tech, she surpassed the 900-point total and then added to it with 17 points against Clemson. The updated totals are:
Career Record: Tanae Davis-Cain 159
Mara Freshour 141
Wendy Hampton 134
Tanae Davis-Cain: 1,047
Mara Freshour: 919
FSU WITH SEMRAU NOW EVEN IN ACC OPENERS
Under head coach Sue Semrau, the FSU women’s basketball team is now 6-6 in Atlantic Coast Conference openers after defeating Virginia Tech. The Seminoles are currently riding a three-game winning streak in conference openers after defeating Virginia Tech two years in a row and defeating Boston College during the 2006-07 season to kick off league-play.
67-63 AND 67-63
If the outcome of Florida State’s game against Virginia Tech seemed a bit familiar, that’s because it certainly was. This year FSU opened its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a 67-63 against Virginia Tech and the Seminoles did the exact same thing a season when they beat the Hokies by the exact same score in the conference opener. The only difference between this season and last was that the Seminoles beat Virginia Tech at home a year ago and had to travel to Blacksburg this season.
BRAVARD IMPRESSES IN FIRST-EVER ACC GAME
True freshman Cierra Bravard hasn’t played like a first-year player most of the season and that proved to be true against Virginia Tech. Thursday’s victory over the Hokies marked Bravard’s first-career game against an Atlantic Coast Conference team and if she was nervous, the Sandusky, Ohio native didn’t show it. Bravard led all Seminoles with a team-high 14 points and became FSU’s go-to player down the stretch when points mattered most. The Hokies had no answer inside for the 6-foot-4 post-player on both ends of the court as she also blocked a career-high three shots in the win.
BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER
Florida State is using its size to its advantage this season and the Seminoles have outrebounded all but three opponents so far, including a +16 advantage over Clemson.
The Seminoles have speed but need to take care of the basketball better. FSU tied its season-high with 26 turnovers in the Virginia Tech win. FSU also had 26 TO’s vs. North Florida, a win, and Washington, a loss. The Seminoles are averaging 19.3 turnovers a game after giving the ball away just 14 times against Clemson but need to sustain that ability to protect the basketball.
The Seminoles recorded a season-high 10 blocks in the Virginia Tech win, which is the most blocks by an FSU team since the Seminoles had 10 blocks vs. Miami on January 7th, 2007. Nine blocks at Texas A&M was the season-best last year.
SEMINOLES ARE PERFECT WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
After leading 45-31 at halftime against Clemson and then earning the victory, FSU is a perfect 13-0 in games this year when leading after the game’s first 20 minutes.
TAKING DOWN THE NATION’S NO. 3 TEAM
Florida State’s upset victory over No. 3 Texas A&M marked the first time FSU has defeated a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 25 Ohio State last year. The Seminoles’ last win over a top-five-ranked team occurred in the 2007 NCAA Tournament when they upset then-No. 5 Stanford to advance to FSU’s first Sweet Sixteen. The victory over the Aggies also marked the Seminoles’ first win over a top-three program since downing then-No. 2 Duke in 2004. With Monday’s win, FSU now has three victories all-time against top-three-ranked teams.
A SECOND HALF TO REMEMBER
After a quick timeout by head coach Sue Semrau early in the second half of the Texas A&M game, FSU went on a tear. The Seminoles went on an incredible 34-10 run to close out the game. FSU did this by making timely shots on the offensive end and limiting the Aggies’ playmakers on the defensive end. After shooting just over 20 percent in the first half, FSU shot just over 62 percent in the second half. And perhaps more importantly, the Seminoles limited Texas A&M’s stellar guard Takia Starks as she finished with just six points – well below her average – on just 3-for-18 shooting. She was also 0-for-8 from 3-point range. For the game, FSU scored 41 points in the second half compared to just 24 by the Aggies. The Seminoles wound up nailing 15 of their 22 shot attempts in the final 20 minutes and ended the game on a 20-3 run.
VERY EXCITING MOMENTS
Trailing by 17 points with 13 minutes remaining in the game against Texas A&M, hope seemed to be lost for the Seminoles. But after chipping away at the Aggies lead and cutting the deficit to just six points with around five minutes remaining in regulation, things got even more exciting for everyone at the Tucker Center. The frenzy all started when Tanae Davis-Cain drilled a 3-pointer with 4:42 remaining in the ballgame to cut Texas A&M’s lead to just 50-47. Davis-Cain’s fist-pumping to the crowd and chest bumping with her teammates then led to a lay-up by Angel Gray and a couple of Cierra Bravard free-throws that gave FSU a 51-50 lead with just over four minutes remaining. Courtney Ward then converted a lay-up and hit a 3-pointer to put the Seminoles on top at 56-50 and FSU never looked back.
FIRST WIN OF THE YEAR WHEN TRAILING AT THE HALF
The upset victory over Texas A&M marked the first time this season that the Seminoles earned a victory despite trailing at the halftime break. The Aggies boasted a 29-19 advantage at the game’s intermission. Despite trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, the win marked the squad’s biggest comeback of the 2008-09 season.
FSU AND IN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS
The Seminoles journey to Cancun, Mexico to take part in the Caribbean Classic along with Connecticut, Northern Colorado and Washington marked the second time this season in which FSU competed in an in-season tournament. Earlier this season, the Seminoles competed in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on the campus of Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. during the Thanksgiving holiday. In that tournament, FSU defeated Murray State 85-50 in the opening game but fell to Valparaiso 80-74 in the tournament’s championship contest. After going 1-1 in Colorado and then are 1-2 in Mexico after beating Northern Colorado and losing to Washington and UConn, the Seminoles are 27-12 during in-season tournaments in the Sue Semrau era (since 1997-98 season). The Seminoles have won seven in-season tournaments during Semrau’s tenure – including two during the 2004-05 season.
FSU WAS OUT OF CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR THIRD TIME
FSU’s journey to Cancun, Mexico to compete in the Caribbean Classic was just the third time ever that the Seminoles have traveled outside the Continental United States to play basketball during the regular season. Both of FSU’s previous trips across country lines were to San Juan Puerto Rico to compete in the San Juan Shootout during the 1994-95 and 2004-05 seasons. The Seminoles competed in three games during that in-season tournament in 1994 and lost each contest to Texas Tech, Southern Illinois and Michigan State. FSU then bounced back in a big way 10 years later when it won all three games against Fordham, Towson and UNC-Charlotte during the San Juan Shootout in 2004. FSU is now 4-6 in games played outside of the United States.
Best Defensive Performance of the Season
Bouncing back after a poor showing against the University of Florida, the FSU defense did its job in the win against Southeast Missouri State. The mere 31 points SEMO was allowed was the lowest total scored by an FSU opponent since the ‘Noles held Savannah State to just 28 points in a 107-28 romp on Nov. 23, 2003. The fewest amount of points that FSU has ever allowed in a game was 26 when the Clemson Tigers posted that many in an 80-26 loss during the 1993-94 season.
Antionette Howard Leaves Team
Sophomore forward Antionette Howard has decided to not play basketball at FSU and has left the team. She will finish the academic semester at Florida State.
FSU Picked to Finish Fifth in the ACC
The ACC Preseason Poll was selected by the newly-formed Blue Ribbon Panel, which consists of national and local media members as well as school representatives.
2008-09 ACC Preseason Poll
1. North Carolina (15 first place votes)
2. Maryland (11 first place votes)
3. Duke (14 first place votes)
4. Virginia (two first place votes)
5. Florida State
6. Georgia Tech
7. Boston College
8. NC State
10. Virginia Tech
12. Wake Forest
Florida State Women’s Basketball Program Signs Talented 2009 Prospect
FSU head coach Sue Semrau announced the signing of 6-foot-3 forward Chelsea Davis, a talented post player from Middletown, Delaware, to a national letter of intent. Davis has been one of the top girl’s high school basketball players in the entire northeast since she burst onto the scene two years ago. She will enter her senior season as a three-year starter and has recorded 1,257 career points and 744 career rebounds. She averaged 21.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as a junior on her way to leading the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks per game. A three-time all-state honoree, including first team honors in each of the last two seasons and honorable mention honors as a freshman, Davis has earned first team all-conference honors the last three seasons and has also been named the MVP of her team three straight years. Davis is ranked as the 35th-best post-player prospect in the entire country, according to Hoopgurlz.