Nov. 2, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Led by junior Jacinta Monroe’s career- and game-high 29 points and 15 rebounds, the Florida State women’s basketball team, ranked No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and No. 21 in the Associated Press preseason polls, defeated the Mike White All-Stars Premier Players, 84-68, Sunday afternoon in exhibition action at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“Today was a good opportunity for us to get on the court and get our feet wet and work through some different line ups,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’ve got a lot of great potential.”
Monroe, Tanae Davis-Cain, Mara Freshour and Courtney Ward, Florida State’s four returning starters, got the nod Sunday while freshman Cierra Bravard rounded out the starting five. Bravard with 12 points, and Ward, with 10, also recorded double figures for the Seminoles.
“Cint (Jacinta Monroe) was tremendous today in every way but I think the compliment of her and Cierra (Bravard) in the inside and Tanae (Davis-Cain) and Mara (Freshour) as a threat on the outside is going to really be tough to stop,” Semrau said.
The Seminoles led the final 24:23 of the game and had an advantage of as many as 19 points at 56-37 with 13:24 remaining but allowed Premier to get back within eight points with just under five minutes to play.
“I didn’t like us very much on the defensive end today and we’ve got to improve there but I know we’ve got the ability to do it,” Semrau said.
The Seminoles shot 50 percent from the field for the game, connected on seven, three-pointers and had 81 percent free throw shooting, including a perfect 8-for-8 in the second half. Rebounding was also a strength, as FSU had a 43-31 advantage. Freshour was second on the team with seven rebounds and led the way with four of the squad’s 19 assists.
FSU went into the locker room with a 40-32 advantage thanks to the outstanding play of Monroe who had 19 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 16 first half minutes. Florida State shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded Premier 22-17. Bravard used her 6-4 frame to put in six points and pull down four rebounds. Premier had five leads in the first half but by no more than two points. FSU’s biggest lead of the first 20 minutes was 11 points.
Florida State’s next game will be vs. DT3 in exhibition action on Monday, November 10th at 7 p.m. at the Tucker Center.
“As you saw today, exhibitions are extremely important to be able to see where you are and try to see the carry over that you have from practice to a game,” Semrau said. “I wasn’t extremely pleased with our carry over today but we’ll continue to go back and take care of that and hopefully carry over better on the 10th.”
FSU’s national ranking marks the second straight season that the Seminoles have earned a nod in the Top 25 preseason polls. Last year, FSU was ranked No. 19 in both polls to start the season.
Premier Players is now 0-2 during the exhibition season, having lost to Miami, 62-52, Friday night. The squad plays at Louisville Monday night.