March 2, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Led by Tasheika Morris’ 23 points, the Florida State women’s basketball team earned the program’s first sweep over Clemson with a 68-59 victory over the Tigers Sunday afternoon at the Leon County Civic Center. With the win, FSU improved to 16-11 overall and finished 8-8 in the ACC while the Tigers fell to 13-14 overall and 5-11 in league action.
“I am extremely proud of the way the team came out today,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We focused on two things today and that was controlling the boards and we had to battle hard. The second was controlling the ball and we had 11 turnovers in the first half and we challenged them at halftime and I thought they did a tremendous job taking care of the ball with just four turnovers in the second half.”
Clemson took an early 11-6 lead and even led by six at 15-9 at the 12:29 mark. A jumper by Morris started a 9-2 Seminole run and Florida State had its first lead at 18-17 at the 10:27 mark. Morris, who scored eight of FSU’s first 18 points, had to sit at the 9:56 mark with two fouls, but the Seminoles continued to stay on pace. FSU went up four at 26-22 only to have the Tigers respond with a seven-point swing that put them up by three at 29-26. Trinetta Moore hit two free throws and Katelyn Vujas hit back-to-back jumpers as the Seminoles scored the final six points of the half and led 32-29 at the break. FSU was led by Morris’ eight points but the Tribe enjoyed balanced scoring as Moore added seven, Vujas six and Angela Sutton five points. Moore and Genesis Choice led the way with four rebounds apiece to lead FSU to a 19-16 edge on the boards. Julie Aderhold led Clemson with nine points.
The Tigers scored the first bucket in the second half to pull within a point, but that was the closest they would get for the rest of the game. Morris scored FSU’s first eight points of the half and the Seminoles outscored the Tigers 11-6 in the first five minutes to take their largest lead at eight points. After Clemson closed in to within three points, Florida State, sparked by a Morris three-pointer, went up nine at 49-40 with 11:31 to play. But Clemson would not let the Seminoles get comfortable and got to within three again on back-to-back three pointers by senior Chrissy Floyd, who scored a game-high 28 points, including 19 consecutive in the second half. Sutton, who with three steals was a defensive spark for Florida State, made a brilliant three-point play and FSU led by six three different times over the next four minutes. However, Floyd would not let the Tigers fold. Clemson trailed 56-50 when Floyd hit two free throws and a jumper to pull the Tigers to within a bucket with 4:41 remaining in the game. Morris, FSU’s offensive weapon, came right back with four straight points of her own and two free throws by point guard Holly Johnson put the Seminole advantage back up to eight points with 2:35 remaining and the Tribe led by at least five points the rest of the way.
There were many heroes in the Seminole victory as the five starters combined for 65 of Florida State’s 68 points. Vujas contributed 12 points and eight rebounds in her final regular-season game at Florida State while Johnson, who played all 40 minutes for the second straight game, had 11 points and eight rebounds. Moore and Sutton, who led the team with four assists, added 10 and nine points, respectively. FSU shot 44 percent for the game and outrebounded Clemson, 40-34. The Tigers shot 36 percent for the game.
The win not only snapped a six-game losing streak for Florida State, but it was also the first “senior day” victory the Seminoles have enjoyed in Vujas’ four seasons.
“We were all pretty sick of losing,” Vujas said. “A couple of my teammates came up to me before the game and said that this game was for me and I told them that this game was for us.”
FSU and the rest of the league schools will prepare for the ACC Tournament which will begin on Friday, March 7th in Greensboro, N.C.