Nov. 28, 2008
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Florida State women’s basketball team opened the Coors Rocky Mount Invitational on the campus of Colorado State with an 85-50 victory over Murray State Friday.
FSU (5-1) was led to victory by a tightfisted defense and an offensive onslaught that featured five players that scored in double figures.
“We got our running game going as a result of our strong defense,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “The players didn’t really worry too much about the altitude and it was really nice to be able to play a lot of people a lot minutes. I just think we did a tremendous job.”
Three days after switching her starting lineup for the first time this season, Semrau stuck with the change that helped spark a 62-31 dismantling of Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 25 as guards Christian Hunnicutt and Angel Gray were given the nod against Murray State (2-3) over seniors Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour.
Still, that didn’t stop the Seminole seniors from leaving their respective marks on the ballgame. Davis-Cain bounced back from a slow start to the game to tally 11 points while Freshour added six points, six rebounds and four assists.
Hunnicut contributed a season-high 11 points while post-players Jacinta Monroe and Cierra Bravard contributed 10 and 11 points, respectively. Alysha Harvin was the fifth Seminole in double figures as she poured in a season-high 11 points as well.
The Seminole defense helped set up that offensive show by slowing Murray State down all evening long at the Moby Arena. The Racers were held to just 32.1-percent shooting from the field.
Just as importantly, FSU limited Racers star Ashley Hayes to just 15 points. The 5-foot-10 senior entered the game as one of the top offensive players in the country as she was averaging 24 points per outing.
“We just tried to be a good defensive team out there and let it feed our offense,” said FSU junior forward Cayla Moore, who had her best game of the season as she recorded season highs in points (eight) and rebounds (10). “We just did a good job of talking out there to each other and really playing together as a team on both ends of the floor.”
Moore’s 10 boards led a Seminole effort that resulted in a 49-25 rebounding advantage by game’s end. The ‘Noles also dominated the points-in-the-paint battle 46-12.
FSU boasted a 41-27 lead at the halftime break thanks to nine first-half points from Bravard. Hunnicutt had seven of her points while Courtney Ward and Freshour contributed six points apiece in the opening 20 minutes.
The Seminoles will now face Valparaiso after they defeated Colorado State following FSU’s game. The championship matchup will take place at 5 p.m. MT/7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
FSU arrived in the Mile High State on Wednesday and spent the night in Denver before enjoying the Thanksgiving Holiday at the family home of graduate assistant coach Joanna Reitz. Following a delicious home-cooked meal, the ‘Noles boarded the team bus for the hour-long drive to Fort Collins on Thursday afternoon.
Following Saturday’s contest, FSU will spend one more night in Fort Collins before leaving for Tallahassee Sunday afternoon.