Nov. 28, 2006
The 6-0 Florida State women’s basketball team will play six of its next seven games on the road, including a three-game road swing that begins with an 8 p.m. meeting at 3-1 Mississippi State Thursday night. The game can be heard via the Internet by accessing www.seminoles.com.
“We won’t have a lot of practice time,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It will be a lot more preparation for games but we have to carry over what we’ve learned and that’s going to be a challenge with a three-game road trip where we don’t come home in between. Again, I think it is something that will help us prepare for what we are going to face in the ACC. It won’t be easy, but I think our team is up to the challenge.”
Florida State and Mississippi State have each won two games in the four-game series which dates back to the 1978-79 season. Last year’s meeting between the two schools in Tallahassee, a 75-59 Seminole victory, was the first game between the two schools since 1989-90. Thursday will be the first time Florida State will play in Starkville as the previous four games were played in Tallahassee.
Mississippi State is the second of three SEC teams that Florida State will face in the regular-season. Florida, which FSU downed 88-66, and Georgia are the others. The last time FSU played three SEC teams in the same season was in 1993-94. Florida State played Kentucky, Alabama and Florida and lost to all three. The Seminoles are 40-86 all-time vs. current SEC teams.
The Seminoles improved to 6-0 for just the third time in Florida State women’s basketball history when they defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 60-43 Monday night and concluded their homestand with a perfect 3-0 record. FSU continues to be led by sophomore Britany Miller’s 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game but the Seminoles are enjoying some offensive balance this year. Four Seminoles in all are scoring in double figures this season and at one time or another during FSU’s first six games, eight different Seminoles have scored 10 or more points in a game.
As a team, Florida State is shooting 49 percent from the field. After six games, Semrau has learned some things about her young team.
“First, I believe we can be a really great defensive team as we continue with repetition and experience,” Semrau said. “Secondly, I’ve learned that different players can and will step up. You take one away, another player’s going to step up and you look at all of the different players that have been able to do that. We can go deep into our bench and as the freshmen start to get more comfortable, they’re going to get better and contribute even more.”
Florida State is very close to being nationally-ranked. Right now, the Seminoles are ranked No. 26 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll and No. 27 in the AP poll. The last time FSU was nationally ranked was the week of February 15, 2005 at No. 25 in the Coaches’ Poll.
The Seminoles are holding opponents to 36 percent shooting this season and has held two teams to 43 points or less in a game and the Seminoles are only six games into the season. The last time FSU held two teams to 43 points or less in a season was in 2004-05. The Tribe finished 24-8 that year and held opponents to 40 percent shooting.
“This team just needed to understand how hard they had to play defensively,” Semrau said. “I think they believe it, but they didn’t know what it would take. There are going to be nights that we shoot poorly and if we can hold teams like we have, then we will win basketball games.”
Following Thursday’s game, the Seminoles will depart for Greenville, N.C. where they will compete in East Carolina’s Lady Pirates Invitational. FSU will face Fairfield Saturday, Dec. 2nd at 1 p.m. in first round action.