Nov. 8, 2007
#19 Florida State at Florida Gulf Coast
Friday, November 9 l 7:30 pm
Alico Arena (4,500) l Fort Myers, Fla.
Radio: 1270 AM Ryan Pensy (PBP) l Melissa Bruner (Color)
Complete Release in PDF Format
The Opening Tip (What You Need To Know):
Seminoles Open 2007-08 Season Friday at Florida Gulf Coast
After nearly a month of practice and a pair of exhibition games, the start of the 2007-08 season is finally here for the Florida State women’s basketball team. The Seminoles open year number 11 under head coach Sue Semrau this Friday (November 9) at 7:30 pm against Florida Gulf Coast in the Eagles’ Division I debut. The game can be heard live on 1270 AM and online at Seminoles.com.
Florida State Goes For 14th-Straight Season Opening Victory
Getting off on the right foot has become almost automatic for the Seminoles as they have won their last 13 season openers. The 2006-07 campaign started with a 93-77 triumph over UAB at home. Florida State has had no problems getting the offense started during its streak, scoring an average of 79.2 points per game while only surrendering 63.5 ppg. Overall the Seminoles are 28-5 on opening night with their last loss coming on November 26, 1993, in an 85-86 defeat to UT-Chattanooga. Bumping up those numbers was a 107-28 victory over Savannah State to start the 2003-04 season.
Road Openers Have Been Rare For FSU Of Late
Over the last eight years, starting the season away from home has been a foreign concept for the Seminoles as they had left the Donald L. Tucker Center just once. However, there was a stretch in the late 80s and into the 90s when FSU always seemed to be on the road. All told, this will be 15th time FSU has played away from home to start the year and it comes into Friday’s game with an 11-3 record away from home. The contest at Florida Gulf Coast is just the first true road game for the Seminoles since November 14, 1998, when they completed a stretch of four-straight road openers with a 77-70 victory at Tulsa.
Scouting Report? We Don’t Need No Scouting Report
Head coach Sue Semrau and her staff have done a tremendous job of getting ready for first-time opponents. Florida Gulf Coast will be the 74th different non-conference team the Seminoles have played under Semrau. In the previous 73 meetings, Florida State has a 55-18 record.
FSU Tries To Remain Perfect Vs. A-SUN
Under Semrau Through the first 10 years of the Sue Semrau era, the Seminoles are undefeated against the Atlantic Sun Conference. During her tenure, Florida State is 6-0 following last year’s win over Stetson. Overall, the Seminoles are 20-10 against the conference, but haven’t lost a game to the league since a 69-75 loss to Stetson on December 12, 1987. FSU plays fellow A-Sun team North Florida on Sunday.
Seminoles Look To Continue Road Success
The last three years the Seminoles have been nearly as good on the road as they have been at home. Since the 2004-05 campaign, FSU has won at least seven road games every year, including 10 last season which tied the 1989-90 and 1981-82 teams for the most wins on the road. When you add in the neutral games, FSU won 14 games outside of Tallahassee last season.
Seminoles Round Out Exhibition Slate With 83-71 Victory
A quick start to both halves and a solid inside-out game were a great combination for the Florida State women’s basketball team in its final exhibition game. The Seminoles stayed perfect in the exhibition season with an 83-71 victory over Michael T. White on Monday (November 5). Britany Miller led the way with 20 points and Tanae Davis-Cain added 17, but it was a total team effort on offense as four other players scored at least eight points.
Scouting Florida Gulf Coast
The Eagles left Division II on the top as they played in the Division II National Championship game, dropping a 45-61 decision to Southern Connecticut State. Florida Gulf Coast started the year by winning 34-straight games. Making the jump to Division I might be even tougher for the Eagles as they lose their top three scorers from last season. The top scorer and rebounder back for the 2007-08 season is senior forward Delia De La Torre, who averaged 7.1 ppg. and 5.0 rpg. Only five players off last year’s team are back and this year’s roster is comprised of nine newcomers.
Seminoles Earn First Preseason National Rankings
A run to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team warranted the Seminoles their first preseason rankings as they check in at 19 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll. The No. 19 rating equals the highest ranking in both polls. While Florida State achieved the same ranking in the USA Today poll to finish last year, the No. 19 spot hasn’t been accomplished in the AP poll since March 6, 1983. It is also Florida State’s first appearance in the AP rating since January 31, 2005, when it was listed at No. 24.
Miller And Davis-Cain Provide Great Inside-Out Combo
During the first two exhibition games, the junior tandem of Britany Miller and Tanae Davis-Cain were the main offensive threats, scoring 22.0 ppg and 19.0 ppg, respectively. One of the most accurate shooters in school history – Miller has a career shooting percentage of .517 – she hit 74.1 percent (20-of-27) of her shots in the two games. She also averaged a team-best 7.0 rpg. Davis-Cain, who was one short of the single-season record with 52 three-pointers last year, hit 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from three-point range.
Can Any Rookie Match Monroe’s 2006-07 Debut?
It may be the greatest debut by a freshman in Florida State history. Last year against UAB, forward Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) put up career numbers. She started her career with a bang, scoring 23 points and grabbing 21 rebounds against the Blazers. Her 21 rebounds was a single-game high in the ACC last season and ranked eighth in the country. Within the FSU ranks, the 21 boards are the most by a Seminole since Levys Torres set the school record with 24 and tied for the third-highest total ever. Needless to say, she was an easy choice for her first of three ACC Rookie of the Week honors.
Great Debuts Not Uncommon
While Jacinta Monroe’s debut may stand head and shoulders above everyone else on the team, several current Seminoles have had good starts to their career. In 2005 against Georgia Southern, center Britany Miller (Tallapoosa, Ga.) got the start and scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds. In that same game, Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) also grabbed four rebounds and added 13 points off the bench. Two years prior, Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Ga.) got the start and dished out seven assists to go along with seven points.
Ward Making An Immediate Impact
Giving an infusion to the team this fall has been rookie guard Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.). During the exhibition games she dished out 7.5 assists per game while scoring 8.0 ppg and grabbing 5.0 rpg. If she cracks the starting line-up against Florida Gulf Coast, Ward would be the fourth freshman in the last five years to start their collegiate debut: Jacinta Monroe (2006), Britany Miller (2005) and Shante Williams (2003).
Freshour Looking To Take Set Free Throw Percentage Mark
If junior guard Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) can drain at least 11 of the first 15 free throws she takes this season, she will become the new Floirda State career leader in free throw percentage. While her current rate of 80.0 percent (68-85) is well above Lisa Foglio’s mark of 78.8 percent, she is 15 attempts short of the 100-attempt requirement to be on the list. Eleven of 15 would put her at 79 percent and to keep her current rate she would need to hit 12-of-15. Freshour has played well in the first two exhibition games, scoring 12.0 ppg. and grabbign 6.5 rpg.
News and Notes…
Senior guard Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) has been cleared to play for Friday’s season opener. Williams had offseason surgery on her right hip and did not play in either of Florida State’s first two exhibition games … Freshman forward Antionette Howard (Snellville, Ga.) was the fourth-leading scorer in exhibition games at 9.0 ppg … Florida State only has three players from the state on its roster, compared to just one Florida Gulf Coast … Six degrees of Sue Semrau: FGCU assistant Ericka Haney played at Notre Dame for assistant Carole Owens, who played for Semrau at Northern Illinois … FGCU head coach Karl Smesko is 1-1 in his career against Florida State while as an assistant at Maryland during the 1998-99 season … The Seminoles were very accurate in their first two exhibition games, hitting 55.5 percent from the floor and 59.1 percent from three-point range.