Nov. 20, 2005
The Florida State women’s basketball team finished just short Sunday afternoon, falling 71-69 to the Washington Huskies (2-0) at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles (1-1) rallied from an early 16-point deficit to go up by as many as seven points with under six minutes to play but couldn’t hold on for the win.
“This is exactly the kind of game that you want in preseason, to give you an idea on what you are,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I thought we came out soft again and we can’t do that. I was very pleased by the way we stepped up and came back. Alicia (Gladden) really put it into another gear and Tanae (Davis-Cain) and Mara (Freshour), both off the bench, were really big for us; Mara more of a passer, and Tanae more of a scorer. It was a great, competitive basketball game against a very veteran Pac-10 team returning all five starters from last year. I thought they had a valiant effort coming here and playing on the road beating a SEC and ACC team and I think they are going to have a very good year.”
Holly Johnson (15), Tanae Davis-Cain (15) and Alicia Gladden (14) combined for 44 of FSU’s 69 points in the loss but the Seminoles struggled from the free throw line shooting just 44 percent. LaQuinta Neely led FSU with a game-high seven rebounds while Johnson had five assists.
“We have to address our free throw shooting,” Semrau said. “It is something that surprises me, but it is something that we can fix.”
After trailing the majority of the first half, Davis-Cain drained a three-pointer at the 16:53 mark of the second half and gave Florida State its first lead since the 18-minute mark of the first half. Johnson followed with another trey and the Seminoles led 46-42 with 15:54 left in the game. There were three ties over the next several minutes but FSU did not trail again until 1:28 left in the game when Washington’s Kayla Burt hit a big three pointer to put the Huskies back up 69-68. FSU made just one of four free throw attempts in the final 53 seconds and could only force a tie at 69-69. UW’s Cameo Hicks, who led all scorers with 21 points, drove in for a lay up with seven seconds left in the game and Johnson’s jump shot attempt at the buzzer rolled out.
“Another thing that we need to address is let down,” Semrau said. “We were up 64-57 at one point and for them to come back the way they did and to have a shot with the ball game tied, it was a position that we didn’t want to be in.”
The Seminoles trailed 40-35 at halftime but had to battle to get that close. FSU scored first but the Huskies went on a 17-4 run to take their first double-digit lead at 11 points at the 14:03 mark of the first half. The Seminoles fell behind by as many as 16 points at 27-11 at the midway point but fought back with balanced scoring. FSU trailed by 13 at 35-22 when the Seminoles went to work. Britany Miller, who had nine points and five rebounds in the game, hit back-to-back buckets which started a 13-2 run. Florida State was within two points with 19 seconds left in the half but went into the locker room down five as Hicks sunk a three-pointer at the buzzer.
“I was very proud by the way we came out after halftime, after the momentum had shifted by their three-pointer at the end of the half,” Semrau said. “I thought the team could have lost the wind out of their sails, but they came out and battled hard at the beginning of the half.”
Washington shot 84 percent from the free throw line but was limited to just three, three-pointers after making six in the win over Alabama Friday. Jill Bell also had double figures for the Huskies with 10 points while Burt added seven points and a team-high six rebounds.
“That was a great game to be part of,” UW head coach June Daugherty said. “I’d like to commend Florida State. We had them down 16 and they showed us what they’re made of coming right back the way they did. I thought our team, you know at halftime they had made that big run and we settled down and our players did a great job of saying let’s go back out there with confidence and play harder than we did the first half and it would come back to us and that’s what we did. Tonight was a total, total team effort for this victory for Washington.”