Nov. 10, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – 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, concluded its exhibition schedule Monday night with an 82-53 victory over DT3 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles were led to victory by a stingy defense and starting point guard Courtney Ward’s game-high 19 points.
In addition to Ward, all four of the other FSU starters reached double figures in the scoring chart as Mara Freshour tallied 10 points, Tanae Davis-Cain finished with 16, Cierra Bravard had 11 and Jacinta Monroe posted 12.
But for all the Seminoles did offensively Monday night, it was the defense that stole the show as FSU held DT3 – a team comprised of former women’s college basketball players that defeated the University of Florida 71-62 on Nov. 7 – to just 26.7-percent shooting from the field.
“I thought they played with purpose,” Florida State 12th-year head coach Sue Semrau said about her team. “I thought they played engaged and together and that makes for a much better defensive team than when you have a couple of really great individual players.”
The strong defense allowed the ‘Noles to jump out to an early lead and never look back as they took a 45-24 advantage into the halftime break.
Offensively, Ward set the tone from the point-guard position as the Montgomery, Ala. native shot 67-percent from the field and connected on all three of her 3-point attempts. She also added six assists and two rebounds.
“She handled herself with poise and made great decisions,” Semrau said. “She just made everybody better.”
For the game, FSU shot 56.4-percent from the field and an even 60-percent from behind the 3-point line. The Seminoles also outrebounded (50-33) and achieved more blocks (7-0) than DT3.
Monday’s contest was the final of two exhibition games the Seminoles were scheduled to play before the start of the 2008-09 season. FSU’s regular-season opener is this Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. when Florida Gulf Coast University comes to the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Florida State is now 2-0 in exhibitions as they defeated Premier Players at home on Nov. 2.
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.