Nov. 25, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State women’s basketball team improved to a perfect 4-0 with a 72-45 win over Saint Joseph’s (3-1) in the championship game of the Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic Sunday afternoon at the Leon County Civic Center. Four FSU players scored in double figures. Junior Shinikki Whiting led way with 17 points and eight rebounds while Classic Most Valuable Player Tasheika Morris had 16 points and rebounds. Senior April Traylor added 15 points and four rebounds while junior newcomer Trinetta Moore had 11 points and a team-high nine boards. Both Whiting and Morris were named to the all-tournament team.
“I don’t really know where to start, to be honest with you,” FSU Head Coach Sue Semrau said. “I can’t say I expected that. We had a tremendous defensive effort. To hold a team of that caliber to 45 points was really beyond my imagination. I think we’re just really coming into our own.”
Florida State took control of the game early and had its first double-digit lead at 18-7 at the 11:21 mark. After falling behind by 14, Saint Joseph’s scored the game’s next five points to pull within nine at 21-12, but the Seminoles responded, outscoring the Hawks 12-2 over the next four minutes to take their largest lead of 19 points at 33-14. Behind balanced offensive production, the Seminoles had a 38-22 lead at halftime. Eight Seminoles scored in the first half while five of them had five or more points. Morris and Whiting led the way with eight points apiece, while Traylor wasn’t far behind with seven of her own. FSU shot 58 percent and had a 20-15 rebounding advantage.
In the second half, FSU scored eight of the first 10 points to pull ahead by a 25-point margin and led the rest of the game by at least 20 points. FSU’s biggest lead was 28 points at 55-27 at the 12:29 mark. The Hawks, who shot just 30 percent for the game, closed the gap to 20 points at 65-45 with 2:19 remaining, but the Seminoles scored the game’s final eight points as Traylor hit a three-pointer, Moore made a layup and Morris hit a short jumper with 10 second left in the game. Saint Joseph’s had 14 turnovers and committed eight more fouls than the Seminoles. FSU shot 48 percent for the game, outrebounded the Hawks 41-27 and had just 12 turnovers. Whiting had a solid second half with nine points and four rebounds. She also led the team with four assists.
“The whole atmosphere … everybody’s attitude was like ‘I’m going to help my teammate out’,” Whiting said. “If they get beat, I’m going to be there. If I can switch to prevent them from getting beat, I’m going to switch. Everyone was talking and everyone was helping each other and it felt great. When you’re playing defense, of course you’re going to be able to score. When you’re on the floor, playing defense and boxing out, you’re going to win. We just had a tremendous team effort tonight on both ends of the floor, and it felt good getting stops on defense on a team that is a great team.”
Saint Joseph’s had just one player score in double figures as Colleen McGahan tallied 12 points. Susan Moran, who scored 23 points and had 11 rebounds in Saturday’s contest with Akron, was held to seven points and six rebounds and fouled out of the game with 12:29 remaining. She was named to the all-tournament team.
Florida State will host Florida on Thursday, November 29th at 7 p.m.
The 2001 Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic All-Tournament Team: Samantha Copeland, East Tennessee State, Dominique Harris, Akron, April Traylor, Florida State, Susan Moran, Saint Joseph’s, Shinikki Whiting, Florida State. Most Valuable Player: Tasheika Morris, Florida State.