January 8, 2009 - by
Seminoles Avoid Letdown, Outlast Virginia Tech, 67-63, in ACC Opener

Jan. 8, 2009

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Box Score

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Florida State women’s basketball team held off Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Thursday night, 67-63, in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both programs.

The victory marks FSU’s third-straight win over Virginia Tech (8-6) and the team’s 12th in the past 13 games over the Hokies. The Seminoles (13-4) have now won four-straight overall and are still undefeated in opponents’ home gyms on the season.

FSU also now owns a three-game winning streak in conference openers dating back to the 2006-07 season.

“We avoided any kind of letdown after the win over Texas A&M,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It’s tough to go on the road in the ACC and everybody guarded against that letdown.”

For the game, four different Seminoles scored in double figures as true freshman Cierra Bravard led all FSU players with 14 points. Playing in her first-career ACC game, the Sandusky, Ohio native made six of her 11 shots while grabbing six rebounds and posting a career-high three blocks despite playing with four fouls late in the game.

Tanae Davis-Cain finished with 12 points – 10 of which she accrued in the first half – and her fellow guards, Mara Freshour and Courtney Ward, also added 12 points apiece. Ward added seven assists.

“I thought Cierra’s poise was tremendous,” Semrau said. “She would catch the ball down low and there was no hesitation. She was going up and she was going to score and she got big, big buckets for us. I thought our guards did a good job of getting her the ball.”

Thursday’s contest was a game of runs for both squads.

The Seminoles used a 20-11 run through the first 13 minutes of the second half to build a 56-38 lead on Virginia Tech. But just as they had done in the first half in a similar situation, the Hokies were able to come up with an answer as they generated a 14-2 run to cut the gap to just 58-52 with just over four minutes left in the ballgame.

After Freshour drilled a 3-pointer to put FSU on top 61-52 with 3:07 left, the pesky Hokies still wouldn’t go away as they scored eight of the game’s next 10 points to put the score at 63-60 in favor of the Seminoles.

Ward and Freshour then made two clutch free-throws apiece with under 28 seconds left to play to keep Virginia Tech at bay.

After hitting just two 3-pointers in the upset win over Texas A&M, the Seminoles more than doubled that totaled against Virginia Tech. FSU finished the game shooting 46.7-percent from long range as the team made seven of its 15 3-point attempts.

Despite being outscored in the second half by the Hokies 36-31, the Seminoles won the battle of points in the paint 28-20 and achieved a 46-40 rebounding edge.

Three Virginia Tech players scored in double figures with Utahya Dryer registering a game-high 18 points. Lindsay Biggs and Shanel Harrison contributed 15 and 14 points, respectively.

The Seminoles boasted a 36-27 lead at the game’s intermission. Florida State had built an early 26-9 advantage but Virginia Tech stormed back to within single digits thanks to an 18-10 run to close the first half.

FSU will now return home to host the Clemson Tigers at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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